Serena Williams took another seismic step toward the calendar-year Grand Slam, defeating 20th-seeded Garbine Muguruza in Saturday's 2015 Wimbledon women's final to win her fourth straight major and 21st of her legendary career.
It was yet another straight-sets performance from the top seed, who dispatched the Spaniard challenger 6-4, 6-4 in a match that lasted just one hour and 23 minutes for her sixth singles title on Centre Court. Bleacher Report capped the result:
She's had her fair share of close calls, like a near-defeat to Great Britain's Heather Watson and another three-set test from Victoria Azarenka. But otherwise, Williams has been dominant, as she's swept the rest of the tournament in straight-sets fashion.
Williams did the same Saturday to Muguruza, remaining in control during the opening set before taking advantage of two break opportunities to win the first set 6-4. She overcame four first-set double faults and a conversion rate below 50 percent on second serves to take the opening frame.
The match was nearly wrapped up moments later when Williams sprinted out to a 5-1 lead in the second and final set. But Muguruza failed to go down quietly, rebounding to win three straight games and break Williams' serve to get back into the set.
Her efforts came up well short, but Ryan Nanni of SBNation noted how Muguruza's performance flew under the radar:
In the end, Muguruza simply couldn't match Williams' power and placement. Despite coming into the match with nearly 30 aces in the tournament, the Spaniard hit just three in Saturday's match, while Williams knocked 12 aces past her opponent.
Muguruza actually had more accurate service, as she hit 70 percent of her first serves in but only won 53 percent of such points. Her inferiority in the service box only became more lopsided as the match wore along, which ESPN Stats & Info observed:
Williams has shown the ability to get it done in any number of ways throughout her career, but her powerful service stood out more than anything else throughout the last fortnight at Wimbledon. She smashed a number of aces that rival some of the best men's numbers, which, as freelance tennis journalist Chris Goldsmith noted, is ridiculous:
Saturday marked yet another Grand Slam triumph for Williams, which is far from surprising if you keep up with her career results. The living legend has proved virtually unbeatable in Grand Slam finals, with a whopping 21-4 record in championship matches.
What's even more impressive is that half of the losses came against her sister, as Michael Smith of ESPN noted:
Winning another Wimbledon title is sweet no matter how it comes, but this one has to feel especially validating. With this one, she's now won four straight majors for just the second time in her career, emulating her feat from 2002 and 2003.
"I honestly wouldn't have thought last year after winning the U.S. Open I would win the Serena Slam at all," Williams told Ravi Ubha of CNN. "It's super exciting."
There's no doubt Williams will be taking the time necessary to celebrate and enjoy this triumph, but it's also even more obvious that she's already looking ahead to Flushing Meadows, as she admitted herself on Twitter:
Muguruza inevitably came up well short of winning the Wimbledon title Saturday, but that doesn't put her performances from the All England Club in the right perspective. When you take into account the fact that she had never advanced past the quarterfinal round of any Grand Slam and simply took it to some of the world's best at Wimbledon, she should be around for quite some time.
As for Williams, the clock is undeniably ticking on the twilight of her career as she approaches her 34th birthday in September. But despite getting up there in years, she's showing no likelihood of conceding her place as the sport's dominant force.
Until that changes, one can expect Williams to continue doing what she's been doing.