Garbine Muguruza, before the start of the women's singles final, insisted she did not want to dwell on the Wimbledon final defeat to Serena Williams last year. And with good reason too; all she wanted to think about was going about her business in the French Open final and scripting history for herself.
She did that in some style, defeating the defending champion Serena in straight sets to clinch her first ever Grand Slam title. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-4 against the world number one, who, try as she might, could not push past the determined Spaniard. Serena's quest to match Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam titles in the Open era continues, after suffering her second defeat in a major final in 2016.
"I'm so, so excited, to play in the final of a Grand Slam against one of the best players, it is the perfect final, I am so happy," said Muguruza as she tried to fight back the tears, happy tears this time, after emotions got the better of her nearly a year ago.
In that Wimbledon final in 2015, which Serena went on to win 6-4, 6-4, Muguruza was left wondering what might have been, after throwing away a couple of glorious opportunities. In this match as well, it looked like Muguruza might follow down that don't-wanna-go-there road, before her determination and ability to hit the big shots when needed most pulled her out of that funk.
Leading 4-2 in the first set, in that Wimbledon final, Muguruza froze completely as Serena ran away with four games in a row to take the match lead and eventually control. In this match, the Spaniard was up 4-2 again, and again, Serena looked like she might come back and win the set after digging herself out of a hole.
The American won three games in a row to take a 5-4 lead in the set, but Muguruza, a year wiser, would not be denied this time, as she went on a three-game winning run of her own to clinch the first set 7-5.
With the momentum firmly on her side, Muguruza would break Serena in the first game of the second set to jump into a 7-5, 1-0 lead. However, the two players would trade breaks a couple more times, before the 22-year-old finally took control, taking a 3-1 lead.
With the finish line now in sight, that Muguruza path was going to go one of two ways – she was either going to tighten up again and allow Serena a way back, or she was going to hold her nerve, the stuff of champions, and march to that maiden title.
Well, she took the second path, much to the delight of the crowd, who were pulling for the underdog from point one. Muguruza had plenty of chances to win the match on the Serena serve in the ninth game of the second set, and while Serena held on to force her opponent to serve for the match, there was no stopping the tall Spaniard, who hit the winning point with a lob that kissed the line, with the celebration then following Rafael Nadal style, with a collapse onto the clay court, before that glowing smile lit up the Philippe Chatrier.