Garbine Muguruza said it felt “incredible” to become Wimbledon champion even if it did mean defeating childhood idol Venus Williams.
The 23-year-old Spaniard claimed a 7-5, 6-0 win over the 37-year-old five-time champion after saving two set points in the opener.
“I had the hardest match today against Venus. She’s such an incredible player and I grew up watching her play…sorry,” Muguruza told the Centre Court crowd.
It was her second Grand Slam title to add to her 2016 French Open victory.
She had also been runner-up to Serena Williams in the 2015 Wimbledon final.
“I feel incredible to be able to play Venus here. Of course I’m nervous because I always dreamed about winning it, but I was composed,” she said.
“Two years ago I lost in the final against Serena and she told me I was going to win.”
Muguruza was coached at Wimbledon by Conchita Martinez, the first Spanish woman to lift the trophy at the All England Club in 1994.
Martinez was standing in for Sam Sumyk who sat out Wimbledon to stay at home with his pregnant wife.
When asked if she had a message for Sumyk, Muguruza lifted the trophy towards the TV camera.
“Here it is,” she said.
Williams, playing in her ninth Wimbledon final, had two set points in the opener.
However, she was unable to convert them and Muguruza won all of the remaining nine games of the final.
“Congratulations Garbine. I know how hard you work and I’m sure this means so much to you and your family,” said the American.
“Thanks to my team who have been here day in and day out.”
She also spared a thought for sister Serena, the seven-time champion at Wimbledon, who did not defend her title this year as she prepares to give birth to her first baby next month.
“I miss Serena,” said Williams who won just 12 points in the 24-minute second set.
“I tried my best to do the things you do — but I think there will be other opportunities.”
Williams had hoped to clinch a sixth All England title, nine years after she last lifted the trophy.