From our correspondent from Paris, Ivan Pasquariello "I was likeM 'OH MY GOD' I am about to beat Serena Williams!" reveals Garbine Muguruza, 20-year-old from Barcelona. Garbine is a very atypical Spanish girl, maybe cause she isn't fully Spanish.
Tall, very strong, but what really is peculiar about her is her tennis game. Forget the Spanish expertise of defense and point-building on red clay, Garbine likes to control the rallies. She wants to attack first, be the the one who hits the winner.
No, she doesn't like to wait to construct the point and she wouldn't play the match of her life on clay. Garbine prefers the hard courts, the speed and the thrill. Therefore, it is even more surprising to see her not only beating, but trashing Serena Williams on clay, on the surface that in the last 2 years had nothing but smiles for the American World No.1.
"Serena told me to keep playing like this, and I may be able to win the tournament" says Garbine to the press, finding it almost impossible to repress a smile. What you don't see her doing however, is crying.
She knows that the win is no casualty, it has nothing to do with luck. Sure you can say that Serena didn't play the best match of her life, probably not even close to the level she would play when in a bad day, but Garbine pushed the World No.1 to the limit.
Ready to turn 21 in October, Muguruza is already World No.35. After the French Open she will most likely break into the top 30. She started the year outside the top 50, then she won the title in Hobart as a qualifier. Just to confirm the feeling she has with the hard courts, Garbine went on to beat World No.10 Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open, managing to reach the 4th round.
Another final in Florianapolis and then the red clay season. In Europe Garbine's star didn't shine bright. She lost in the second round both in Rome and Madrid, she looked all but impressive. But things changed in Paris, where she decided just in time to become a Spaniard DOC.
She felt at home in Paris, on that clay that doesn't fit with her characteristics. "I like clay, less than hard courts but I do. I have been practicing all my life in Spain, and in Spain we like so much the clay, so I started to feel comfortable".
So comfortable that she stunned the Suzanne Lenglen unexpectedly. First the French crowd was in shock, then they all started to be on Garbine's side, cheering her, taking her by hand in the greatest win of her career, with was was her idol: "I saw Serena playing since I was a little girl.
I started to practice trying to emulate her serve, her backhand, I wanted to be like her". Not just like her, better than her, just for one day. Garbine still hasn't decided whether she will be playing for Spain or Venezuela, as her origins and life experiences interweave between these two countries.
"I haven't decided yet" said Muguruza in Paris "but I will in few months. I have a lot of family in Span and a lot of family in Venezuela, I have to understand where I am going to be spending more time".
Meanwhile there is a tournament to finish, a dream to chase and catch. In the third round she meets the other player that took out a Williams, Venus this time: Anna Schmiedlova. "She has less a name than Venus, but it's a Grand Slam, you are nervous, even today I was incredibly nervous" said Garbine.
And if she can deal with her nerves as she did today, then another little story will be told, another step towards her future as a top player.