Garbine Muguruza acknowledged that there have been many great role models throughout tennis history, but she feels that Serena Williams is the one who truly transformed the game. Williams, who finished her career with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, played powerful and aggressive tennis that hadn’t really been seen before her.
The competition had to adapt to Williams and that’s one of the reasons why today’s players are more aggressive and hit the ball hard. Although Williams failed to break or tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slams, Muguruza feels it is the American who deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time.
Muguruza: Williams transformed tennis
“Serena has always been my role model because she transformed tennis,” Muguruza wrote for El País. “There are those who have been inspired by Sharapova or other great players, but it was Serena who definitely changed the game.
Not only has she dominated the sport for many years, she has pioneered a powerful and aggressive style that impressed the older generation who played more tactical tennis. Serena took the game by storm and turned it into another kind of sport, one that is more aggressive, stronger, faster, and more explosive.
From then on, all the players had to adapt if they wanted to compete at their level, or at least close to it. For all these reasons, it is the greatest of all time. There is no question about it.» Muguruza faced Williams six times and two of those six meetings were in Grand Slam finals.
In the 2015 Wimbledon final, Muguruza suffered a straight-set loss to Williams. The following year, Muguruza defeated Williams in the French Open final to lift her first Grand Slam title. His last meeting was at Indian Wells 2019, when Williams retired after being down a set against Muguruza. Overall, Muguruza finished a 3-3 head-to-head against Williams.