Serena Williams Wins French Open For Her 20th Grand Slam

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Serena Williams defeated Lucie Šafářová to win the 2015 French Open, which is her 20th Grand Slam. The victory also means she is halfway finished for a calendar Grand Slam.

Williams played perfectly in the first set. It appeared she fully recovered after an illness hampered her abilities in the semi-final. Her serve was on point with four aces and no breaks. So smooth and confident. The real Williams appeared before the cameras. She forced Šafářová to scatter the court and controlled the entire set.

Everything changed in the second set. Williams broke Šafářová and grabbed a 4-1 lead. With a blink of the eye, the roles completely reversed. Šafářová broke Williams to make the set 2-4. The break changed Williams’ face. A veil of frustration covered her face as she moved with more agitation. Šafářová suddenly glided across the court and every move exuded massive confidence. Another win. Another break. Tied 4-4. Williams screamed obscenities to vent her frustration. Then she loses again with Šafářová taking a 5-4 lead.

Williams ended up breaking Šafářová to go up 6-5 and serve for the match. But Šafářová was not finished and broke Williams to force a tiebreak.

She completely demolished Williams 7-2 in the tiebreak. Frustration boiled over for Williams as she told the ballboy in a harsh voice she did not need the umbrella over her.

“I choked,” she told Mary Carillo. “Simple as that.”

The third set did not start well. Šafářová broke Williams’ opening service game and held her serve. Williams finally won a game, but still looked shaken and frustrated as she sat for the changeover. But whatever she said to herself worked because Šafářová only won those two games. It was all Williams after that. She broke Šafářová and held her serve at love. The screams of frustration turned into screams of excitement, but they still led to an obscenity warning from the umpire.

That did nothing to break her stride.

Now up 4-2, Williams moved fast and took control. She held her serve with flawless tennis to go up 5-2. One game away. Šafářová unfortunately lost all her steam and Williams had no problem breaking her for the win.

Williams won six games in a row to capture the French Open despite the awful second set.

“This is by far the most dramatic [major title I’ve won],” she exclaimed. “I didn’t even train yesterday, I’ve had the flu … it’s just been a nightmare.”

But Šafářová should be proud. She never lost a set until the final, even against defending champion Maria Sharapova in the round of 16 or in the semi-finals against 2008 French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic. Her appearance will bump her to seventh, which puts two Czechs in the top 10. Petra Kvitova is ranked fourth.

Williams is the first woman since Monica Seles in 1992-1993 to win consecutive US Open, Australian Open, and French Open championships. Next up is grass season with Wimbledon only three weeks away.