It ended up being much harder than it originally appeared, but Serena Williams continued her steady assault on the history books by winning her 20th career Grand Slam title at Roland Garros on Saturday.
Despite battling the flu for much of the tournament and being bedridden on Friday, the top-seeded Williams overcame a tough fight from No. 13 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic to win 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 for her third French Open title and her third straight Major title. She also holds the crowns at the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. If she wins Wimbledon next month she would notch another “Serena Slam,” the name given to her accomplishment when she held all four major titles in 2002-03.
“This is by far the most dramatic [major she has won],” Williams told Mary Carillo of NBC, referring to her four comebacks from one-set down en route to the title. “I didn’t even train yesterday. I’ve had the flu, oh my gosh, it’s been just a living nightmare….
“I just needed to step it up and once I relaxed, I stopped thinking and I just started playing and next thing I know I won.”
At 33, Williams passed Helen Wills Moody on the all-time women’s list at 19 majors and now trails only Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22). Court won 11 of her 24 titles at the Australian Open in the 1960s and ’70s when many top players did not play the event.
Williams improved to 20-4 in Slam finals and 18-0 in Slam singles finals after winning the first set.
“Twenty is pretty amazing to me,” Williams said. “Unfortunately I’m thinking about Wimbledon…I know, it’s bad, it’s bad. But I’m going to enjoy this moment I hope. I feel like I’m going to faint though, I’m exhausted..” To read more of this story, click here
After taking care of nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the French Open, it took Novak Djokovic the full five sets to dispatch Andy Murray in the semis.
The world’s No. 1 player finally eliminated No. 3 Murray, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 on Saturday in Paris in the continuation of a match that was suspended Friday due to darkness. It was Djokovic’s 28th straight victory this year.
“We tend to run each other around and play cat and mouse game, and it’s tiring. It’s exhausting to play him,” Djokovic said on-court in French according to the BBC.
“But, you know, this is the kind of situations that you work for entire year, to get yourself in a position to play against one of the biggest rivals and to fight for major titles. I’m just glad I overcome the change.” To read more of this story, click here
Novak Djokovic is now two victories from the career Grand Slam and becoming the new king of the French Open.
In dispatching nine-time Roland Garros winner and No. 6 seed Rafael Nadal, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, No. 1 Djokovic snapped Nadal’s 39-match winning streak on the red clay in Paris.
Nadal entered the match with a record of 93-1 in five-set matches on clay and 70-1 at Roland Garros, with his only loss coming in the fourth round in 2009 to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.
“It’s not a big surprise, no?” Nadal said, according to Christopher Clarey of the New York Times. “I didn’t win enough before here. It’s something that could happen.” To read more of this story, click here
When the French Open begins on Sunday, 33-year-old Serena Williams will open as the No. 1 seed and clear favorite to win her 20th Grand Slam singles title.
Williams, who owns two Roland Garros crowns, surpassed Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova and Chrissie Evert on the all-time list by winning the Australian Open in January. Serena is now tied at 19 Majors with Helen-Wills Moody.
Next up is Steffi Graf at 22, followed by the all-time leader Margaret Court at 24.
Navratilova told the Tennis Podcast that “it is possible” that she could pass Court’s 24, but also warned that Williams’ journey from 19 titles to 25 will be a very difficult. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Roger Federer would “love” to win career major No. 18 this summer at Wimbledon, and says that his arch-rival Rafael Nadal could catch him “very quickly” on the all-time list if Nadal wins this year’s French Open.
The 33-year-old Federer owns 17 career Grand Slam singles titles, while the 28-year-old Nadal is tied for second place all-time with Pete Sampras at 14.
Nine of Nadal’s 14 titles have come at the French Open, where he will seek his 15th major this spring.
“Rafa particularly has the best shot [of catching Federer],” Federer said Monday at a hotel off Central Park. “If he wins the French Open a few more times and I don’t win anymore then clearly he can catch me very quickly.” To read more of this story, click here
Old friends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were drawn in the same half of the Australian Open, which begins Monday.
But Nadal faces a challenging path in his quest for a second Australian Open title after Wednesday’s draw ceremony. He opens against wily veteran Mikhail Youzhny and may face Lukas Rosol, who upset him at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, in the third round. Should he survive those tests, he is set to face 2014 semifinalist Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Like last year, Federer could meet Andy Murray in the quarters and may get a rematch against Nadal in the semis after falling to the Spaniard in straight sets in 2014. Federer, who is seeking his 18th career Grand Slam title, will kick off his campaign against Yen-Hsun Lu.
Murray, meantime, would have to beat Federer, Nadal and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to capture his first Australian Open title. To read more of this story, click here
Roger Federer won his 1,000th career match and his 83rd career title on Sunday when he defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 in the final of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
The 33-year-old Federer is just the third player in the Open Era to achieve the feat, joining Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1.071). His milestone was celebrated on court after the match by Rod Laver and Roy Emerson, the ATP reported.
“It’s a special moment, no doubt about it,” Federer said upon receiving a commemorative award from Laver. “I’ve played a lot of tennis over the years, so to get to 1000 wins tonight really means a lot to me. I’ll never forget this match.”
Said Raonic: “It’s a little bit tough standing here, in front of so many Grand Slam champions; it’s an honor. We all know today was a significant milestone for Roger. When we were warming up, I heard all those titles; I honestly thought he was playing for 2000 match wins today! I think he needs to step it up!”
Federer will seek his 18th career major at the Australian Open beginning Jan. 19.
(The ATP contributed)
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