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sport news Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza has a passion for and the steel to ...

Sitting across the table from you, Garbine Muguruza strikes a less intimidating figure than is surely the case when she is stationed at the other end of a tennis court.

At close quarters the defending Wimbledon champion is a 24-year-old of mixed Spanish-Venezuelan heritage with a love of music, a passion for and a beatific smile.

Across the net she is the player who has refused to yield on the biggest stages and occasions to the likes of the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova, challenges from which others might have shrunk.

Away from tennis, Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza has a passion for fashion

Away from tennis, Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza has a passion for

Muguruza, the current world No 3, is determined to retain her Wimbledon crown this year

Muguruza, the current world No 3, is determined to retain her Wimbledon crown this year

Muguruza took part in an exclusive photoshoot with Sportsmail's Graham Chadwick

Muguruza took part in an exclusive photoshoot with Sportsmail's Graham Chadwick

When she defeated Venus Williams in last year’s final 7-5, 6-0 to claim the Venus Rosewater dish, it was not the first time she has faced down the most severe opposition when it has mattered most.

In 2016 she shot to worldwide fame when she shocked Serena Williams to win the French Open final. A few weeks ago, in the Roland Garros quarter-finals, she dismantled Sharapova for the loss of three games, although she then fell to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Clearly there is a steely side to Muguruza — who faces Brit Naomi Broady on Centre Court in the first round — and it is evident when she discusses the reality of facing ferocious competitors such as Sharapova or Williams.

‘You know she is a very good tennis player but I’m a very good player, too,’ says Muguruza.

‘I understand the noises and the intimidation, but the racket has to speak. The intimidation is a part of it, every player knows, but you have to perform yourself and you have to believe in your talent.’

This, however, is clearly only one part of her. There is also the person who obsessively listens to music, has developed the hobby of designing clothes and fund-raises for a project in Cambodia teaching impoverished children to read.

The 24-year-old will be up against Britain's Naomi Broady on Centre Court on Tuesday

The 24-year-old will be up against Britain's Naomi Broady on Centre Court on Tuesday

Muguruza was born in Caracas, Venezuela, to a Venezuelan mother and Spanish father

Muguruza was born in Caracas, Venezuela, to a Venezuelan mother and Spanish father

She Muguruza moved to Spain aged six with her brothers enrolled in a tennis academy

She Muguruza moved to Spain aged six with her brothers enrolled in a tennis academy

Muguruza was born in Caracas to a Venezuelan mother and Spanish father. Aged six, she moved to Barcelona, where her two older brothers were at the Bruguera Tennis Academy with the hope of pursuing a professional career.

As it turned out, she was the one with the exceptional talent and, although it was not the original intention, she enrolled and was quickly identified as having unusual potential.

She happily represents Spain, the nation of her main upbringing and her Basque father, who was an enthusiastic player of the region’s traditional game pelota. Yet she retains close links to the troubled country of her birth, where her mother Scarlet’s family still live.

This, she says, helps avoid getting seduced by the glamorous world she now

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