Serena Williams looks to make history at Roland Garros

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By Drew Farmer
Serena .
Serena Williams is one Grand Slam away from tennis history. Currently sitting on 21, Williams has the chance to make history in Paris as she once again attempts to break Steffi Graf’s record Open era wins.
Williams has won two of the last three French Opens, including last year’s tournament at Roland Garros. She is heavily favoured to walk away with the tournament this year, taking the record of 22 Grand Slams with her. However, there are top stars on the rise that look to knock the world number one off her perch.
There is room to be hopeful of another title if you are a Williams’ supporter. Last week, Williams defeated Madison Keys at the Rome Open to take top prize. Although her time in Rome was overshadowed by the dog food eating experience she shared on social media. It was Williams’ 70th title overall in her career and a perfect warm-up for her exploits in France. In Rome, Williams never lost a set, tearing through the competition.
Williams had missed the Madrid Open ahead of her triumph in Rome, favouring a chance to rest after losing the Miami Open to Svetlana Kuznetsova earlier this year. Interestingly, Williams dominated Kuznetsova in a rematch in Rome. Giving the Russian little time to breathe in their match.
Although Williams is the favourite in Paris, experts don’t believe it is a sure thing. There is pressure at Roland Garros unlike that in Rome or in Miami previously. She will be on the big stage, playing on clay against the world’s best women. In addition, all eyes will be on the American to win that elusive 22nd Grand Slam.
Williams will open the tournament against Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova. If Williams gets past Rybarikova, she could face French favourite Kristina Mladenovic. Victoria Azarenka, the fifth seed, is predicted to be waiting in the quarter-finals for Williams. Williams’ road to glory is lined with showdowns of top women’s tennis players, and an unenviable set of matches for the American star.
In January, Williams addressed the media about the pressure she felt in her chance for history.
“I definitely block it out,” Williams stated. “I was one off last year, too. If I don’t win [in the final] I’ll still be one off. It took me forever to get to 18. I was so stressed out. I don’t want to relive that at all.”
Williams is still shaking off the missed opportunities from last year. She looked sharp at the Rome Open, and should carry that into Paris. Williams’ journey to the French Open title begins on the 24th in the first round.
At 34-years old, Williams’ time at the top looks to be coming to an end. While some believe the changing of the guard could happen at Roland Garros, Williams will have plenty of fight left. One Grand Slam win away from history, Williams can seal her place further in tennis lore with a win in Paris this year.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Check out his new book, Soccer Travels, in paperback or on Kindle at