Ladies French Open Preview

Written by Square in the Air

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Serena Williams will ingrain her name even deeper in the history books if she wins the French Open final on Saturday, but Lucie Safarova will have other ideas.

Williams’ semi-final victory over Timea Bacsinszky at Roland Garros was impressive considering her complaints of illness. Some have raised suspicions over the sincerity of her grumbling but, regardless, she has spent more time on court than usual due to a tough three-setter against American rival Sloane Stephens in the quarter-final. She went a set down against Bacsinszky, as she did against Stephens, but stepped up a gear to win ten games in a row and book herself a place in the final to potentially win her twentieth Grand Slam title.

An expected heatwave in Paris will make it all the more difficult for Williams if she is feeling unwell. Williams undoubtedly has the experience over her opponent but the Czech Republic’s first female French Open finalist for 34 years, Safarova, could surprise many. Her semi-final victory over Ana Ivanovic has put her through to her first ever Grand Slam final and she won’t want the opportunity to pass her by. The 28 year-old showed that she has great fight after changing tact to a more aggressive style following a poor start, which eventually paid off.

Safarova’s adaptability is a great asset and the aggressive style she implemented late on against Ivanovic could cause Williams problems, especially with a mixture of the American’s purported illness and soaring temperatures. The Czech has already disposed of two French Open winners this campaign, in Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova, and Williams could be the next giant she can slay.

Williams’ record against Safarova is comprehensive of course. She has beaten her in all of the ten matches she has played against her, but the fact that she had to rely on winning a tiebreaker against her in the Hopman Cup earlier this year, shows that the underdog is perhaps on the cusp of a famous victory. Follow @SportingIndex

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