By Pritha Sarkar
LONDON (Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza's new-found love-affair with grass blossomed further on Tuesday as she became the first Spanish woman in 18 years to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 7-5 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky.
The 21-year-old, who took instant dislike to the lush green surface after losing her first match on it three years ago in Birmingham, found her comfort zone to outwit and out-hit Bacsinszky.
"Amazing, I am so happy. It was a very tough match so I'm really excited," the 20th seed said moments after coming off Court One.
Muguruza, who was three years old when fellow Spaniard Aranxta-Sanchez Vicario reached the last four in 1997, pocketed the first set when her Swiss rival whipped a forehand wide.
She kept up the momentum in the second to reach her first grand slam semi.
After watching 15th seed Bacsinszky roll the ball into the net on matchpoint, Muguruza collapsed on to her back before getting back up to bounce around court in joy.
"I know it is very hard to achieve this so I am very proud. I've been very interested in tennis since I was three years old so for me it's my life," she said.
"My first semi-final and for it to be here at Wimbledon on grass, I am very excited and looking forward to it."
She will next face either 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, who at 13 is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw, or American Madison Keys.
(Editing by Mitch Phillips)