The world no.1 American Serena Williams did not play her best tennis in the final. Regardless, she looked like taking the title game in two sets in just under an hour. But the 13th seeded Lucie Safarova delayed the inevitable by taking advantage of three double faults from the top seed in the second set and blew some life into an all-important final. Until then, the final match had seemed woefully one-sided with Serena regularly serving at over 190kph and Safarova helping the American with plenty of forced and unforced errors. In the end, after losing the second set, Serena forced the issue in the decider and as Safarova ran out of steam, the American won the French Open for the third time a Grand Slam for the 20th time. Only Steffi Graf of Germany has a better record with 22 Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. Before the Open Era began in 1968, Australia’s Margaret Court had won at 24 Grand Slam events between 1960 and 1973. If Serena wins at Wimbledon in July 2015, she would be a title holder of all four majors at once for the second time after having already done that once in 2003. In the unfinished semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray that took place earlier to women’s final, Murray took the fourth set to force the decider. But that was about all Murray could do in the match as Djokovic produced a relentless barrage of groundstrokes and despite Murray’s fantastic retrieval skills, he couldn’t put up against the Serb. Djokovic reached the final and he will play against Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka for his maiden French Open title on Sunday.
In the women’s final on Saturday, Serena Williams looked better physically than in her earlier matches. She had a good beginning against Lucie Safarova in the first set as she barged ahead to a 3-1 lead. With Safarova looking colorless in making numerous mistakes, Serena served well, returned well and stunned the Czech women with power and control. It took Serena just 31 minutes to take the first set 6-3. Serena continued the momentum in the second set with her destructive play and opened a 4-1 lead. It seemed as if the 2015 women’s French Open final would go down as one of the most one-sided encounter in the history of Roland Garros. But the game was brought alive by Safarova pouncing on Serena’s three double faults in the sixth game. The Czech woman rode on the service break and broke the American yet again to level the scores 4-4. At 5-5, Serena made a comeback and got ready to break Safarova. However, Safarova was not done yet as she came up with a fierce backhand winner down the line to force a tie-break. The Czech player played a powerful game to win the tiebreak and took the match to the decider.
Safarova looked like carrying on the momentum in the third set as she broke Serena early and after holding her serve made it 2-0. With Safarova in seventh heaven, the world no.1 roared back into the match with a new-found resolve. She began by holding the third game to love and broke Safarova in the fourth. Now the American was in full flow as Safarova began making errors. Serena reeled off the remaining points required for her third French Open and 20th Grand Slam title as Safarova stood dumbstruck in losing 3-6, 7-6, 1-6.
Earlier, the suspended semifinal between Djokovic and Murray resumed at the Philippe Chatrier. Murray had to face a volley of relentless groundstrokes from Djokovic but the Scot’s magnificent retrieving skills were responsible for a 32-stroke rally. Murray kept fighting and two unforced errors from Djokovic lent a break opportunity to the Scot. Murray made in 7-5 in the fourth set and the decider ensued. Regardless, the task for Murray was not easy against someone, who was on a 27-match winning streak and who had beaten him in their last seven encounters. The beginning of the final set showed why Djokovic holds the no.1 rank in men’s tennis. The Serb produced such sublime shots that were whipped to hug the lines and Murray couldn’t cope with the power and accuracy from the Serb. Once Djokovic surged to a 2-0 lead, he rode on the momentum. Murray tried to create diversions but he couldn’t succeed against the efficiency of his opponent. Finally as Murray ran of ideas, Djokovic broke again to lead 5-1 and served out for his third final entrance at Roland Garros with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 6-1 victory over Murray.
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