Tag: Roland Garros

She’s Back! Serena Williams Wins Her 1st Grand Slam Match Since Having a Baby, at the 2018 French Open

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 29: Serena Williams of USA celebrates her first round victory during Day Three of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

by Britni Danielle via essence.com

Although Serena Williams might just be the greatest tennis player of all time, she still has something to prove.

After giving birth to her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., last September, Williams’ climb back to the top has been tough. The tennis champ won her first match back on the court in March at Indian Wells but was sent home by her sister, Venus. Later that month, Williams suffered a first-round defeat at the Miami Open, however, she’s been putting in work to reclaim her crown.

On Monday, Williams kicked off the French Open with a win, defeating the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets.

After the match, Williams praised her opponent. “She played really really well,” Williams said before turning her attention to her comeback. “It’s been two years since I played on clay. It’s been a really long time but I trained really hard on the clay.”

Williams is no stranger to the French Open and has won the Grand Slam tournament three times: in 2002, 2013, and 2015. Still, she said she’s not taking anything for granted. “I feel good. I’m just happy to have won a match here,” Williams said. “I’m just taking it a day at a time.”

Williams, who donned a fabulous all-black catsuit for her return to the Grand Slam stage, said the form-fitting choice was a shout out to “all the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and had to come back and try to be fierce.”

Source: https://www.essence.com/celebrity/serena-williams-wins-first-grand-slam-since-baby

Serena Williams Advances to French Open Final, has Shot at Tying Major Record

Serena Williams (USA) reacts after defeating Kiki Bertens (NED) to advance to the 2016 French Open Final. (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)
Serena Williams (USA) reacts after defeating Kiki Bertens (NED) to advance to the 2016 French Open Final. (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)

article by Nick McCarvel via usatoday.com

PARIS – Is the world No. 1 – winner of 21 Grand Slam singles title and arguably the best women’s tennis player to ever play the game – the underdog in the French Open final?

In a way, yes.

Serena Williams has dug, scraped and fought her way back into the championship match here on Saturday – far from her best – and is set to take on No. 4 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, a big-hitting Spaniard who has picked up steam this fortnight in her quest for a maiden major trophy.

When the two clash on Court Philippe Chatrier Saturday for the Roland Garros title, it’s the 34-year-old Williams who will have to play catch up.

“If she plays like this, she’s not going to win,” Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou said Friday after another shaky Williams win. “But I don’t expect her to play that level tomorrow. The mental approach has to change. She has to show it.”

That’s the book on Williams: She rises to the occasion, time after time. She did it last year, winning five three-set matches en route to the French Open crown while suffering from the flu. She has done it this week, triumphing in three sets over Yulia Putintseva on Thursday in the quarterfinals and saving a pair of set points against Kiki Bertens on Friday. She’s a convincing 21-5 in major finals in her career.

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Serena Williams Wins 2015 French Open for 20th Grand Slam Title

Ah, but when Williams plays her best, no one is better. Putting aside a lingering illness, a mid-match lull and a feisty opponent, Williams won her third title at Roland Garros and 20th Grand Slam singles trophy by beating 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 on Saturday.

The No. 1-seeded Williams took the last six games and added to her 2002 and 2013 championships on the French Open’s red clay. Those go alongside six each from the U.S. Open and Australian Open, and five from Wimbledon.

“When I was a little girl, in California, my father and my mother wanted me to play tennis. And now I’m here, with 20 Grand Slam titles,” the 33-year-old American said in French. “This is very special for me. I haven’t always played very well here, but I’m really happy to win the 20th here.”

Only two players in the century-plus history of Grand Slam tennis have won more majors: Margaret Smith Court with 24, and Steffi Graf with 22.

Williams also stretched her Grand Slam winning streak to 21 matches, following titles at the U.S. Open last September and Australian Open in January. She is the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the Australian Open and French Open back-to-back and heads to Wimbledon’s grass with a chance to extend a bid to accomplish just about the only thing she hasn’t: win a calendar-year Grand Slam.

“Why not?” said her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. “That’s probably the most difficult thing to do in tennis. But it’s possible.”

Saturday’s victory did not come easily for Williams, who skipped practice Friday because she was sick, preferring to rest in her Paris apartment.  Owner of the most feared serve in women’s tennis, she double-faulted 11 times. She made 25 unforced errors in the second set alone, and 42 in all, 25 more than Safarova, a 28-year-old lefty with a whip-like forehand appearing in her first major final.

Williams got broken serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set, then was down 2-0 in the third.  But she kept aiming shots for lines and getting them to go where she wanted, improving to 32-1 in 2015, including 12-0 in three-setters.

“When she was on, she was just serving amazing and going for the returns, pressuring me right away,” said Safarova, who will play in the women’s doubles final Sunday with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. “It’s just hard to do anything with that.”

When it was over, Williams dropped her racket, threw her head back and lifted her arms into a “V.” In the stands, Mouratoglou held aloft two fingers on his right hand and made a fist with his left, to symbolize “20.”

And to think: Four times in this tournament, Williams dropped the opening set before coming back to win, including in Thursday’s semifinals, when she was lethargic and bothered by the flu.  So the question leading into the final was: How healthy would Williams be? She began providing answers from the get-go.

Williams closed the first game with a 120 mph (194 kph) ace. She went up 3-1 by breaking with a cross-court forehand return winner. The first set flew by and even Safarova acknowledged afterward, “It was looking like it will be an easy match.”

At 4-1 for Williams in the second, seemingly all but over, she began to falter. A dull contest, and the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd, came to life.  “I just had goose bumps,” Safarova said, “hearing those people cheering.”

Coughing between points, Williams double-faulted twice in a row to get broken for the first time, then double-faulted again to make it 4-all.  When Safarova, growing ever more confident, held moments later, she had taken four consecutive games. She stood strong in the tiebreaker and at the outset of the third set, too, displaying the strokes that beat past champions Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic during what Safarova called an “amazing two weeks for me.”

As soon as Safarova made things interesting enough Saturday to perhaps begin thinking about clutching the silver trophy, Williams quickly regained control, as she so often does.

article by Associated Press via latimes.com

Serena Williams Wins French Open, Beats Maria Sharapova in Final

Serena Williams of United States of America poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after victory in the Women's Singles Final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day fourteen of French Open at Roland Garros on June 8, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of United States of America poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after victory in the Women’s Singles Final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day fourteen of French Open at Roland Garros on June 8, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Then the national anthem played for the first American singles champion at Roland Garros since Williams’ previous title. Williams whacked 10 aces, including three in the final game, and the last came on match point at 123 mph — her hardest serve of the day. She then sank to her knees, screamed at the sky and buried her face in the clay.

The victory completed her rebound from a shocking loss to 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano in the first round at the French Open a year ago. Since that defeat she’s 74-3, including titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the London Olympics and the season-ending WTA Championships.

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