Serena Williams of United States of America celebrates match point womens’ singles semi-final match against Sara Errani of Italy during day twelve of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 6, 2013 in Paris, France
*Serena Williams will play Maria Sharapova for the French Open title on Saturday after slaughtering Italian player Sara Errani today 6-0, 6-1.
Sharapova beat 6th-ranked Errani in the final last year to complete a career Grand Slam, but she faces a tougher test this time. She’s 2-13 against Williams, who has been on a mission after more than a decade of disappointment in Paris.The top-ranked Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, won her only Roland Garros title 11 years ago by beating her sister Venus in the final.
It took Williams just 47 minutes to dispatch of Errani. The match was 37 minutes old before Errani won a game, and the crowd responded with a roar as the Italian raised her arms in sarcastic glee.
Williams won 26 of 34 points in the opening set, 28 of 33 points on her serve and had a 40-2 advantage in winners while losing only 16 points.
The result extended her career-best winning streak to 30 consecutive matches.
Serena Williams of United States of America celebrates a point during her Women’s Singles Quarter-Final match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia on day ten of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 4, 2013 in Paris, France
*Serena Williams appeared to be on her way to an easy 29th consecutive victory Tuesday at the French Open. But her opponent would not go down without a fight.
After taking the first set 6-2, Williams lost eight of 11 games in the middle of the match before finally turning it on again to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. The win puts her in the semifinals at Roland Garros for the first time since 2003.
After sweeping through the first set, Williams was broken twice early in the second set, then broken again to start the third set. She managed to gather herself in the third set, including a service hold early, and then regain control of the match.
After falling behind 0-2 in deciding set, Williams won five consecutive games to get to 5-2. Kuznetsova then stopped the streak, but Williams served it out.
Serena Williams of United States of America shakes hands at the net with Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia after their Women’s Singles Quarter-Final match against on day ten of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 4, 2013 in Paris, France
Williams remains unbeaten on clay this year, and she is on a career-best 29-match winning streak.
Williams will next face No. 5 seed Sara Errani of Italy, who lost in the final to Maria Sharapova a year ago.
*Women’s tennis superstar, Serena Williams, is well on her way to silencing her clay-court performance critics during this year’s French Open, which is currently underway in Paris.
Now on a career best 28-match winning streak, Williams has dropped just 10 games, spending barely more than 4 hours on court, on her way to the business end – the second week – of the prestigious Grand Slam tournament. The 31-year-old number one seed has breezed through the first week on the red clay, summarily dashing the hopes of AnnaTatishvilli (Georgia); Caroline Garcia (France); Sorana Cirstea (Romania); and Roberta Vinci (Italy) of take home the championship hardware.
Serena’s devastating path of destruction through what has historically been a dicey and grueling first week for the 15-time Grand Slam champion has left her critics no choice but to predict that she won’t be denied the big prize this year. Being the last woman standing at Roland Garros has eluded her – much to her chagrin – since 2002, but a new coach, Patrick Mortagou, and renewed passion and focus could change that scenario this time around.
With the “light work” behind her, Serena will now have to face what could be the first test of her journey to the winner’s circle, a meet up with Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova in a quarterfinal match. Kuznetsova has been flying under the radar during the tourney this year due to a long injury layoff and resulting drop in the rankings, but she certainly knows her way around the Roland Garros red clay; she won the championship in 2009.
The unseeded all-court Russian, formerly ranked world no. 2, has stopped Serena on her way to claiming the big FO prize before – the year she won it – and with what appears to be a return to form, she stands the greatest chance of being the proverbial fly in the determined frontrunner’s ointment. However, most betting folks are putting their money on Williams, who’s form and determination are seemingly transcendent and the greatest they’ve ever been, based on her stellar run from last year’s Wimbledon till now. She’s lost just 3 matches since around this same period last year.
Still lurking in this year’s FO draw that would likely meet Serena in the final – provided she clears the remaining quarter and semifinal obstacles – are fellow Grand Slam champions, no. 3 seeded Victoria Azarenka and no. 2 seeded Maria Sharapova. She has very comfortable winning records over both women, however, which makes the conclusion of this year’s final all but forgone if she get’s to that point.
If you ask Serena Williams, she’s sure she’ll be able to conquer her Roland Garros demons this year. In fact, she’s so sure, she’s boned up on her french in order to deliver her winner’s speech in the country’s beloved language.
Check your local listing for the viewing schedule.
*Venus and Serena Williams pulled out of doubles play at the French Open today – right before they were scheduled to play a match.
According to The Associated Press, the sisters were supposed to compete in doubles at Roland Garros for the first time since 2010 after receiving a wild card from the tournament, but they suddenly withdrew. No reason was given by the tournament at press time.
Venus said she was bothered by pain in her back during a three-set loss in singles Sunday. Serena, meanwhile, is currently into the third round of singles play.
They have won a total of 13 Grand Slam trophies in women’s doubles, including at the French Open in 1999 and 2010.
The sisters have played in only one doubles tournament this season, losing to eventual champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the Australian Open quarterfinals in January.
*In the immortal words of singer Sunshine Anderson, we’ve “heard it all before…” but it’s still worthy of mentioning that women’s tennis powerhouse, Serena Williams, is on another tear.
She’s just a few Grand Slam steps away from reaching “greatest of all time” numbers in the sport, which makes recording her exploits all the more important for the sake of capturing black history in the making.
Matching and now exceeding her 18+ year career best winning streak of 22 matches straight, Williams just claimed her 51st tour title – jubilantly twirling her way to the net to shake hands – to win the Italian Open in Rome and 24th consecutive match win. She convincingly snuffed out the flame of feisty world no. 3 and rival, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 6-1, 6-3, to achieve the feat.
This is the fourth consecutive championship (Miami, Charleston, Madrid, Rome) for the 15-time GS power-hitting champion in the short span of only 8 weeks and on arguably her worst surface for three of them, the power-muting red clay. The tournaments are considered tune-ups leading up to Roland Garros, aka the French Open, which is played on the tricky surface.
Roland Garros remains the one tournament that Serena just can’t seem to find any consistency with. She won it back in 2002, but since then she’s struggled mightily, even last year losing in the first round of the tourney for the first time in a grand slam in her entire career. She seemed poised last year to finally conquer her clay demons as she won 2 clay court tournaments (Charleston, Madrid) leading up to the prestigious, but grueling event, but she experienced a now infamous meltdown after losing her enormous lead in the 2nd set tiebreaker and ultimately the 1R match to much lower ranked Virginnie Razzano. Many thought it was the beginning of the end of her illustrious career.The devastation of leaving the tournament not only empty handed, but so embarrassingly early led her to seek out assistance from now coach and boyfriend, Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou. Since his addition to her team, she not only has a more sound clay court strategy, utilizing more topspin, devastating angles, and tricky drop shots to get the job done, yielding jaw dropping results against her bewildered colleagues, but she’s also now playing what analysts say is the best tennis of her career (won Wimbledon, US Open, Year-end Championship and Olympic Gold). Also, if you’re superstitious, adding Rome to the 2 clay-court titles (Charleston, Madrid) she won last year around this same time is a good omen considering when she won Roland Garros in 02 – the year of the Serena Slam, she had also taken Rome just the week before.
Williams, now 31-years-of-age, confidently, and some would say predictably, took out loaded fields during all four of her recent victories, including the relentless power hitter, Maria Sharapova (2); the all-court phenom Victoria Azarenka (3); the ball-thumping Li Na (6); the tennis-magician Agnieszka Radwanska (4); the hit-a-winner-from-anywhere Petra Kvitova (8); clay-court specialist Sara Errani (5) and more, validating her world no. 1 status and sending an emphatic message that 31 is the new ball crushing, ace-serving, all court moving 20.
Life after 30 is usually spent “out to pasture” for most tennis players, but the phenomenal career of Serena Williams has led may to challenge that notion. The oldest world no. 1 in history shows no signs of slowing and is just 2 Grand Slam titles away from matching those they call “the greats.”
Roland Garros runs May 26 and through June 9 and the ball is in her court.
After winning the first set, 6-4, Williams, the No 5 seed, began to spiral down after failing to capture a tiebreak in the second set. Razzano won the second and third sets of the match to advance.
Williams appeared to be caught crying on camera during the changeover between the second and third sets. [Scroll down to watch.] She had jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set tiebreak before Razzano tied and eventually won the set.
After falling behind 5-0 in the third, Williams battled back to 5-3 but could not dig out of such a deep hole in the decisive set.
Razzano, from France, was ranked 111th in the world entering the match.