According to Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams encouraged her to “dream big.”

Garbine Muguruza recalls that her mother used to support her in watching the Williams sisters and harbouring dreams of achieving their status. 28-year-old Muguruza was a young child when Venus and Serena Williams dominated the sport.

Muguruza has since won two Grand Slam titles and held the number one spot in the global rankings. Serena Williams is “unique and unmatched; she is a tennis player from another dimension,” Muguruza wrote for El Pais.

“As she no doubt has been for many other players as well, she has been an inspiration and a true role model to follow in my own case. I began playing tennis at a club that was, of course, unlike the surroundings where I play now.

I recall my mother telling me: “Look at the Williams sisters. Look at the character and grit with which they play. You have to play that and be like them. Someday you will be like them, Garbie.” It was a different world.

Since Serena and Venus were already competing in and winning Grand Slams when I was a young kid (six or seven years old), I began to truly dream big and believe that if I had Serena’s character, I could succeed in sports.”

Serena Williams was defeated by Muguruza to win her first Major.

Muguruza made her maiden Grand Slam final in 2015 at Wimbledon. Muguruza lost to her idol Serena Williams in her first major final. After defeating the American in the French Open final the following year to win her first Grand Slam championship, Muguruza and Williams faced off six more times in Grand Slam finals.

Williams and Muguruza split their six meetings, giving Muguruza a positive final record. When they previously faced up, Muguruza had a set advantage before Williams retired in 2019’s Indian Wells.