Serena Williams, Roland Garros 2015
Serena Williams road to the final

Much tougher than expected for Serena Williams who rallied four times (!) from one set down to reach the final. The best-ranked player she faced being Sara Errani, seeded 17. Sick in the semifinals, she beat the surprising Swiss Timea Bacsinszky after much drama.

Round Opponent Score
R1 Andrea Hlavackova 6-2 6-3
R2 Anna-Lena Friedsam 5-7 6-3 6-3
R3 Victoria Azarenka [27] 3-6 6-4 6-2
R4 Sloane Stephens 1-6 7-5 6-3
QF Sara Errani [17] 6-1 6-3
SF Timea Bacsinszky [23] 4-6 6-3 6-0

Serena will be the huge favorite to lift the trophy on Saturday. That what she said about the pressure to be the player to beat year after year:

It’s not easy. Some days I feel it and the pressure gets to you. It’s kind of hard when you go to every single match and you’re the favourite to win and it’s bigger news when you lose than when you win. But there’s one thing that I learned when I was really young, when I had an opportunity to work with Billie Jean King. She said “Pressure is a privilege”. I’m in a position of privilege to be able to feel that pressure.

Lucie Safarova’s road to the final

Lucie Safarova

Round Opponent Score
R1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 7-6
R2 Kurumi Nara 6-2 6-0
R3 Sabine Lisicki [20] 6-3 7-6
R4 Maria Sharapova [2] 7-6 6-4
QF Garbine Muguruza [21] 7-6 6-3
SF Ana Ivanovic [7] 7-5 7-5

A Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Lucie Safarova reached her first Grand Slam final without losing a set, an impressive feat when you look at the players she faced: defending champion Maria Sharapova, Sabine Lisicki, Garbine Muguruza… She beat Ana Ivanovic 7-5 7-5 in the semifinals, after an nerve-wrecking end of match. Watch Lucie’s joy after the last point:

A popular player on the WTA tour, Safarova was congratulated by current and former players on Twitter after her victory over Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals:

Asked if the “good girl” could win the title she said:

I hope so. I think sport should be about fair play. I think people should be nice to each other. Doesn’t matter if it’s in sports or in general. So that’s what I’m trying to do, even here. I have a few good friends on tour. It’s not easy when you play them, but that’s life.

Serena Williams – Lucie Safarova head to head: 8-0

Lucie Safarova has never beaten Serena Williams in eight meetings. Their most disputed match was in fact their first back in 2007, won by Serena 7-6 in the third.

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2014 Beijing R16 Hard Serena Williams 6-1 1-6 6-2
2014 Montreal R16 Hard Serena Williams 7-5 6-4
2013 Charleston QF Clay Serena Williams 6-4 6-1
2012 Charleston F Clay Serena Williams 6-0 6-1
2011 Toronto QF Hard Serena Williams 4-6 6-3 6-2
2009 Toronto QF Hard Serena Williams 6-3 6-2
2007 Miami R32 Hard Serena Williams 6-3 6-4
2007 Hobart R16 Hard Serena Williams 6-3 3-6 7-6

So, epic battle or routine win? Serena or Lucie? Who do you think will win? Please share your thoughts.
I’ll be watching the final at Roland Garros tomorrow and I’ll be rooting for Safarova, hoping she won’t be taken by nerves.

Who will win Roland Garros 2015?

  • Serena Williams (43%, 105 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (30%, 73 Votes)
  • Simona Halep (11%, 28 Votes)
  • Ana Ivanovic (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Eugenie Bouchard (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Other (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Carla Suarez Navarro (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Ekaterina Makarova (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Andrea Petkovic (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 247

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Lucie Safarova

Roland Garros is already over for the defending champion, Maria Sharapova, who lost to 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist Lucie Safarova in straight sets 6-7 4-6.

“I felt like I had small openings, and played a good few points. I just wasn’t able to keep that level up today. She was able to do that for a longer period of time. She was the much more aggressive player. She took the time away from me, created her angles and I didn’t”,

said Sharapova, who had reached the final the three previous years.

Safarova will next face Garbine Muguruza, who reaches the quarterfinals here for the second year in a row.

Garbine Muguruza

The other surprise today came from Timea Bacsinszky who beat number 4 seed Petra Kvitova 2-6 6-0 6-3, to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinals. Her next opponent is the surprising Alison Van Uytvanck.

Women’s quarterfinals:
Serena Williams vs Sara Errani
Timea Bacsinszky vs Alison Van Uytvanck
Ana Ivanovic vs Elina Svitolina
Garbine Muguruza vs Lucie Safarova

Who will win Roland Garros 2015?

  • Serena Williams (43%, 105 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (30%, 73 Votes)
  • Simona Halep (11%, 28 Votes)
  • Ana Ivanovic (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Eugenie Bouchard (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Other (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Carla Suarez Navarro (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Ekaterina Makarova (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Andrea Petkovic (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 247

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Andy Murray, 2014 US Open

Andy Murray defeats Robin Haase 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-5

First round scare for 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray who battled cramps to overcome Robin Haase in 4 sets.

murray_usopn2014_1

murray_usopn2014_2

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Andy Murray, 2014 US Open

Novak Djokovic defeats Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-2 6-4

A routine win for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic

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Taylor Townsend

Sara Errani:

Sara Errani

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Lucie Safarova:

Lucie Safarova

Jurgen Melzer:

Jurgen Melzer

Kimiko Date:

Kimiko Date-Krumm

Taylor Townsend:

Taylor Townsend

Taylor Townsend

Flavia Pennetta:

Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta

Gael Monfils:

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

Elina Svitolina:

Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina

Martina Hingis:

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

Photo credit: Peg

More reports from Cincinnati:
On the way to the Western & Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open main draw party
Friday evening at Lindner Family Tennis Center
Seeking relief from the heat
Proximity
Interviews and Press Conferences
The Mixed Zone
Stars and Flowers
Players at practice

Djokovic and Wawrinka

Thanks to Peg, who covered the Cincinnati Masters for Tennis Buzz, a few pictures of players practicing:

Sam Stosur:

cincytennis day 3 batch 1 633

Svetlana Kuznetsova:

cincytennis day 3 batch 1 598

Lucie Safarova:

Lucie Safarova

Jelena Jankovic:

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic
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