French Open 2016: Serena Williams vs. Garbine Muguruza Championship Prediction

For the 2016 Roland Garros Title:

Serena Williams vs. Garbine Muguruza

Hello World!  Garbine became a player to watch after her 2014 dethroning of Serena

We saw this match at the Wimbledon final last year.  Serena won 6-4, 6-4.  Muguruza played well, but Serena was too much on grass.  Will clay make a difference?  I think it will. How much of a difference is the question.  I think Muguruza will win at least one set.  Her movement is better on clay than on grass.  Serena seems to be struggling with a calf injury and possibly has an abductor injury too.  Both players have great power, but Serena’s movement and ability to go from defense to offense usually helps her against other power players.

The Right Stuff

I think Muguruza has the tools to pull the upset.  She is quicker than some of the other big hitters on tour.  She is younger than Serena.  Clay is also likely her best surface while being Serena’s worst surface.  So yes, Garbine can win.  Will she?

History in the Making

Serena won her first title of 2016 in Rome.  She also was runner-up at Indian Wells and the Australian Open.  A title in Paris clearly places Serena ahead of the pack in 2016.  It also will allow for her to tie Steffi Graf’s 22 major titles.  Serena should have every motivation for finding her top game in the final.  Serena is 21-1 at Roland Garros from 2013-present with her one loss coming against Muguruza.  Serena typically exacts revenge in situations such as this.

New Champion Rising?

Entering the semifinal round, I felt Muguruza might have the best shot at the title.  She didn’t do anything to change her prospects in dismantling Samantha Stosur.  One can even argue that Stosur is good sparring for Serena as Stosur has a big serve but moves better than many of the power brokers of women’s tennis.  Meanwhile, 3 of Serena’s previous 4 matches have been somewhat close.  Shouldn’t I pick Muguruza?

Coffee is for Closers

Serena is a great closer.  Serena did lose the 2016 Australian Open final, but her record in major finals is 21-5.  She showed great fortitude in winning the 2015 Roland Garros title.  I think Muguruza certainly could win this match, but it is hard to pick a player to win her first Grand Slam title when she is facing Serena Williams in the final.  Serena is 2 sets away from a big goal that has eluded her since September.  Serena may be a bit injured, but she and her team can find a way to get two good to great sets and win her 4th Roland Garros title.

My Prediction: Serena Williams d. Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

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