Tomorrow, world number one Serena Williams will play the final of the 2015 French Open against 13th seed Lucie Šafářová of the Czech Republic.
Serena Williams has struggled with illness on her way to the final of this year’s French Open, on four occasions coming back from a set down. Each time, she has shown immense strength of character in digging deep to pull herself a step closer to a 3rd French Open title. In yesterday’s semi-final match against Timea Bacsinczky, signs of her illness were readily apparent, as she shuffled over to the changeover chair between games, coughing between points.
After losing the first set 4-6, Williams found new form from somewhere, crashing down on Šafářová with powerful forehand after forehand. She won 10 games in a row after going down in the second set, dominating her way to a 4-6 6-3 6-0 victory. The Czech looked to be psychologically broken by a superior opponent, not quite managing to hold back tears as she left the court.
Speaking after the match, Williams said “I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick. I didn’t expect to win that, I really didn’t.” She apologetically avoided the post-match press conference in favour of seeing the tournament doctor – clearly wanting the best chance possible at being ready for the 2015 French Open final.
Williams’ opponent, Lucie Šafářová, will be pleased at the scenes she saw, having cemented her place in the final after beating Ana Ivanovic in straight sets 7-5 7-5. She will need to overturn a losing record of 8-0 to win her first French Open, and first Gland Slam. Her previous best in one of the major tournaments was last year at Wimbledon, where she reached the semi-final.
Šafářová started slowly in her game against the world No. 7, but reeled off 5 straight games to win the first set. Ivanovic slowed further from here, unable to reach the fourth Grand Slam final of her career. The Serb’s only Grand Slam victory came in the 2008 French Open, when she beat Dinara Safina in straight sets.
Author Eoghan Aston
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