Despite falling in the Wimbledon finals against the world’s top seed (6-4 and 6-4, in one hour and 22 minutes), Spanish-Venezuelan player Garbiñe Muguruza proved that she’s a worthy heir to Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and Conchita Martínez, the two most prominent figures of the “golden age” of the Spanish women’s tennis.

Garbiñe has put an end to an agonizing 19-year wait without a Spanish player in the finals of the British major, since Arantxa’s defeats in 1995 and 1996 finals.

For some time now, Garbiñe, born in Guatire (Venezuela) 21 years ago, has been the great hope of women’s tennis in Spain, orphaned of world-class champions since Arantxa and Conchita retired.

Her Wimbledon final – where she fell before US’ Serena Williams – allowed her to break the ‘top-10’. She is currently seeded ninth, ahead of her doubles pair and friend Carla Suárez, now ranked 10th.

Coached by Alejo Mancisidor, who conquered last year her only individual WTA tournament in Hobart (Australia), has become one of the most respected players in the All England Tennis Club, the prestigious and elitist club where the Wimbledon tournament, the world’s oldest, is hosted every year.

The proximity of the 2016 Rio Olympics prompted Garbiñe to make a controversial and much-talked about decision to represent Spain instead of Venezuela, which allowed her to take a load off her mind and focus exclusively on her game.

The future looks bright for a player that has found in her doubles matches the path to shed off her fear of going up to the net

Under Mancisidor’s close supervision, Garbiñe has unleashed all her potential, which allowed her to become a force to be reckoned with within the ‘top-10′: Garbiñe has already claimed victories over Danish Caroline Wozniacki, Romanian Simona Halep, German Angelique Kerber or Polish Agnieszka Radwanska. Even for Serena Williams, Garbiñe proved too strong during last year’s Roland Garros.

In the wake of these victories, the future looks bright for a player that has found in her doubles matches the path to shed off her fear of going up to the net, as it was evident in the last Wimbledon tournament.

In January last year, the Spanish-Venezuelan player claimed her spot in the ‘top-50’ after overcoming an ankle injury that put her progression on stand-by during the second half of the preceding year.

“Don’t be sad –said Serena to the Spanish player after her Wimbledon defeat – soon, you’ll be here winning the title”.

Now, the Wimbledon runner-up has taken a spot among the best rackets in the world: She’s number nine and aims much higher.

Just 21 years old – she’ll turn 22 on October 8th – Garbiñe hopes to be able to deliver on Martina Hingis’ (winner of five Grand Slams and no.1 player in the world for 209 weeks) predictions, who dubbed her a potential world’s no. 1.

The strength of her serve and her ability to adapt to all surfaces – unlike most players trained in Spain, she prefers hard courts to clay – will allow the Barcelona-based player to shoot for the top spot in the world, much more now after this year’s London success and proving that there’s finally a heir worthy of Arantxa and Conchita’s crown.

“Don’t be sad –said Serena to the Spanish player after her Wimbledon defeat – soon, you’ll be here winning the title”.