We hope you've enjoyed our live coverage of the women's final between Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova. This is Mariam Khan, signing off.
At the beginning it seemed as if Serena had the fate of the match in her palms but she faced a strong comeback from her opponent. Through keeping a hold of her nerves she was able to make a comeback from a break down in the final set to clinch the victory. An extremely deserving champion and the greatest of our time. She can hold her head up high as she carries the beautiful trophy to celebrate this mammoth milestone in her career.
As most would have predicted, it is Serena Williams who has come through as the victor as your Roland Garros champion!
A thrilling final comes to a close as Serena Williams gets ready for the presentation ceremony. Despite her sickness and despite the difficulties she faced throughout the tournament, she managed to hold on and fend off a very worthy competitor in the form of Lucie Safarova. Both ladies gave us an amazing final to watch.
6-2. Safarova hits a backhand into the net and Serena wins it! She holds her arms up in the air to celebrate the 20th Grand Slam Title of her career.
15-40. Lucie saves one with her serve.
0-40. Serena has three championship points!
0-30. Another Safarova error means Serena is only two points away from victory.
0-15. Serena is pumping herself up at every point.
5-2. Serena fist pumps and screams as she holds the game emphatically. She is just one game away from her 20th Grand Slam title.
40-30. Serena screams "Come on!" as Safarova barely misses her return.
30-30. An insane forehand return winner from Safarova!
30-15. Lucie hits her return into the net.
15-15. An unbelievable point of aggression mixed with defense from both players. Serena hangs on as Lucie makes the evetual error.
0-15. Double fault from Serena.
4-2. Serena breaks! Safarova hits her backhand down the line just wide and long. The American is in control once again.
40-Adv. Lucie hits an error and Serena gets a break point opportunity.
40-40. Safarova hits her shot long to take it to deuce.
40-30. Return error from the American.
30-30. Safarova makes Williams run around the court and wait for the error.
15-30. An impeccable return ace forehand winner by Serena!
15-15. Serena hits her return into the net.
0-15. Lucie hits an unforced error to begin this crucial game.
3-2. Serena holds her game with an ace!
40-0. Serena's wide serve forces Safarova's return forehand long.
30-0. Safarova hits her return long.
15-0. A great serve from Serena.
2-2. Safarova's nerves get to her and she double faults to gift Serena the break back.
30-40. A wonderful return gives Serena break point opportunity.
30-30. A beautiful backhand down the line winner gives Serena the point.
30-15. Serena comes up to the net to win the point.
30-0. Lucie wins the point.
15-0. Serena hits a return error.
1-2. Serena gets on the board of this set. She has to find a way to get back to her form from the first set.
40-0. A bizarre rally ends with Safarova's error.
30-0. Two powerful serves catch Safarova off guard.
0-2. A beautiful serve lets Lucie hold her game.
40-0. Yet another return error. Serena isn't looking too good.
30-0 Serena hits two return errors in a row to give Lucie two points.
0-1. Serena hits an unforced error to get broken in the first game of this crucial set. If Safarova can hold her nerve, we may have a huge upset on our hands.
30-40. Serena hits her forehand long and gives Safarova a break point opportunity.
30-30. A disappointing double fault from Serena's end.
30-15. A powerful return from the Czech causes Williams' error.
30-0. Another unforced error by Lucie.
15-0. Safarova hits her first unforced error of the final set.
An extremely exciting set comes to a close. Serena's level has dropped, especially on important points, and Lucie has gone for her opportunities a lot more than before. Will we see a Czech comeback or will the American go back to capitalizing the match? The latter will serve first in the third set.
7-6 (7-2). Safarova wins the set!
6-2. Set points for Safarova.
5-2. Unbelievable defense from Safarova, who wins the point through a Williams backhand error.
4-2. Great serve from the American.
4-1. An error on the return from Serena.
3-1. Serena hangs tough in an incredible point and waits for Lucie's error.
3-0. Serena hits an unforced error. The Czech is in control with 2 mini-breaks!
2-0. Serena double faults to hand the Czech a mini-break.
1-0. Aggressive point by the Czech who hits the winner.
6-6! Lucie breaks with an impeccable backhand down the line winner. We're going into a tiebreak.
30-40. Serena hits her forehand into the net to give Lucie a break point in this crucial game.
30-30. Lucie doesn't make the mistake again as she hits the winner.
30-15. Lucie capitalizes the rally but Williams keeps putting the ball back in play. Lucie hits into the net.
0-15. Too good from Lucie who plays deep to finish with an inside out forehand winner.
5-6. Return ace! Serena will serve for the match, and the championship.
30-40. Lucie hits another cross court forehand long to give Serena a break point opportunity.
30-30 as Serena hits her forehand into the net.
15-30. Lucie fails to capitalize the point as she hits her forehand long.
15-15. Lucie leaves the ball thinking it would go long but it catches the line.
15-0. Ace by Safarova!
5-5. Serena pumps herself up with an ace to hold the game!
40-15. Serena's back to serving at her best.
30-15. Lucie hits a wonderful inside-out forehand to win the point.
30-0. Williams wrong-foots the Czech to hit a cross court backhand winner.
15-0. A powerful serve wins Serena the point.
5-4. Safarova leads the second set for the first time by winning four games in a row!
40-30. Serena wins the point through deep play.
40-15. Lucie uses her serve to get game points.
30-15. A beautiful point by Safarova as she hits the winner.
15-15. Lucie hits a backhand into the net.
15-0. The crowd cheers for her as Lucie starts to instigate a momentum shift.
4-4. Serena double faults on the break point once more. The Czech is back into the match.
15-40. Lucie hangs tough and waits for Serena's error. Two break points for the Czech.
15-30. Serena hits her shot long.
15-15. Safarova completely misses her return on Serena's kick second serve.
0-15. Serena hits her backhand down the line wide.
3-4. Safarova finally makes her way back into the match. If the momentum starts to swing in her favor we may have a longer match than expected.
40-15. Game point for Safarova as Serena hits the error.
30-15. Serena wins the point.
30-0. Lucie wins two thrilling points.
2-4. Serena gifts Lucie a break back with her third double fault of the game. The Czech still has a long way to go if she is seeking a comeback.
40-Adv. Safarova gets her first break point opportunity courtesy of a Williams double fault.
40-40. A deep return from the Czech forces Serena's error.
40-30. Serena applauds as Lucie wrong-foots the American to hit a beautiful forehand winner.
40-15. Serena hits her 23rd winner to get a game point opportunity.
30-15. She follows it up with her seventh ace of the match.
15-15. Serena hits her third double fault of the match.
15-0. A good serve from Williams.
1-4. And she grabs it with another return ace!
30-40. Yet another break point opportunity for the American.
30-30. Serena returns the favor by hitting her return into the net.
15-30. An unforced error by the Czech.
15-15. Safarova controls the point but Williams' hangs tough to force the error.
15-0. Serena makes an error.
1-3. An incredible cross court backhand by Serena as she utilizes the pace of Lucie's return to hold her game.
40-15. Lucie gets an opportunity to hit a passing shot winner but goes for too much and dumps it into the net.
30-15. Safarova hits the ball out.
15-15. Williams hits her cross court forehand long.
15-0. Serena wins the point.
1-2. Safarova gets on the board courtesy of Williams' return error.
40-30. Serena wins the point.
40-15. Lucie plays two beautiful points to get game point.
15-15. Serena's strong return forces Lucie's error.
15-0. Serena is unable to return the serve.
0-2. Four incredible serves in a row as Serena holds. She is currently in control of the set and match.
40-0. A strong serve forces Lucie's error.
30-0. Another ace!
15-0. Ace from Serena. She is in her stride now.
0-1. Williams breaks! A tough point where she hangs tough to hit another great winner.
40-Adv. Williams wrong-foots Lucie as she hits a clean backhand cross court winner.
40-40. Williams hits her forehand long.
40-Adv. Another break point for Serena who forces Lucie's error.
40-40. Back to deuce as Serena annihilates Lucie's second serve.
Adv-40. Safarova hits her first ace!
40-40. Serena takes the second serve too late and hits it into the net.
30-40. Serena's deep play wins her a break point opportunity.
30-30. The Czech loses her balance and hits her backhand way out of the court. Could this be Serena's opportunity?
30-15. A powerful return ace from the American wins her the point.
30-0. Serena's shot goes out wide.
15-0. Serena hits her shot into the net.
Serena has just been too good for the Czech. Both players have remained aggressive but it is the 19 time Grand Slam champion who is capitalizing on every opportunity. Safarova will have to be more precise with her shots if she wants to try to get some momentum back. She will serve first in the second set.
6-3. First set to Serena Williams!
40-15. Lucie pushes Serena deep and forces her to hit her shot into the net.
40-0. Three set points for Serena.
15-0. Lucie goes for her forehand and hits it wide.
5-3. Safarova does well to hold on. Serena now serving for the set.
Adv-40. Safarova's serve forces a Williams error.
30-40. Serena's returning is incredible as she forces Lucie to make another error.
30-30. Another return ace from the American.
30-15. Serena's beautiful return forces Lucie to make the error.
30-0. Serena capitalizes the point but dumps the ball into the net again.
15-0. Backhand unforced error from the American.
5-2. Serena aces and screams out a "Come on!" as she holds.
40-30. Serena fist pumps as she wins the point.
30-30. Backhand return ace from the Czech.
30-15. Safarova forces Williams in deep and makes her hit an error.
30-0. Williams wins two points. Her level is just too high and Safarova is making one too many errors. Both aggressive.
4-2. Safarova holds.
40-15. Safarova makes and unforced error.
40-0. Serena's return cross court goes out wide.
30-0. Serena dumps her return into the net.
15-0. Lucie hits a beautiful forehand cross court.
4-1. A cross court forehand from Serena is dumped into the net by Lucie's backhand. The Czech is in trouble.
40-30. Serena double faults her second of the game.
40-15. Serena takes two quick points courtesy of Lucie's return errors.
15-15. Serena double faults her first of the match.
15-0. Serena traps Lucie cross court and hits a monstrous forehand winner.
3-1! Williams breaks with a 144KM/h return ace!
15-40. Two break point opportunities for Williams as she returns deep to cause an unforced error.
15-30. Lucie responds with an equally beautiful forehand out wide.
0-30. Serena's beautiful backhand down the line wins her the point.
0-15. A longer rally ends with Lucie hitting her shot long.
2-1. Serena holds with an ace!
40-30. Serena's serve forces Lucie to hit the return wide.
30-30. Lucie anticipates the direction of the ball well and traps Serena at the net with her lob.
30-15. Serena uses her forehand out wide to wrong-foot Safarova.
15-15. Lucie is unable to make a return.
0-15. Serena loses her balance and hits a backhand wide.
1-1. Safarova holds to get herself settled into the match.
40-30. Williams wins the point.
40-15. Safarova serves another good one to force the error.
30-15. Point for Safarova.
15-15. Safarova's serve forces Serena to hit the ball long.
0-15. Safarova hits the net cord in her rally and Williams punishes with a backhand error.
40-15. Williams wins the point and the game with an ace.
15-15. Safarova hits a forehand winner. Her forehand will be key today.
15-0 Williams is serving first.
Both players have made it on the court for their warm-up.
The 2015 French Open Women's final will shortly begin. For Lucie Safarova it is a "dream come true" to be featuring here. Serena Williams mirrors these sentiments, saying that, "Being in the final here in Paris means so much to me and it's very upsetting that I feel so lousy right now." She'll be hoping to turn the tide of her illness to try to win her 20th Grand Slam title.
The clashing of these two women can be compared to putting together cheese and chalk—both their careers are stark contrasts to one another. However unlikely and unexpected the match-up may be, it promises to be an interesting one if Safarova is able to play at her absolute best. Although the pendulum will surely be swinging in the American’s favor until the last point is played, we may well have a new Grand Slam winner on our hands if Safarova manages to make things go her way.
What adds more worry to Serena Williams’ prospects in the final is the fact that she is far from playing at her best currently. She has dropped the first sets of her matches multiple times this tournament, and faced a dominating scare in her semi-final match against Timea Bacsinszky when she found herself a set and a break down. Worse still, she rushed to the doctor after her match; was even unable to attend her presser due to her physical condition, and will be unable to practice prior to the final match. In spite of her illness, Williams’ comeback in the semi-final, which ended in a last set of 6-0 in her favor, is a testament to her hunger and motivation for this title—a clear message to Safarova that even when she is not at her best, she is still more than capable of capitalizing the match.
Thus, even despite the monumental mountain that she has to climb in the form of Serena Williams to clinch this title, we cannot count Safarova out. During the course of the tournament she has proven herself in ways she was never able to before through her convincing victory against Maria Sharapova, as well as through overcoming her nerves in the semi-final against Ana Ivanovic. Nerves indeed, may well be a problem for the first time finalist, but it is not like this is her first final altogether. Despite a first round loss at this year’s Australian Open, she won the doubles title with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and so she will not be completely devoid of experience when it comes to the big stage.
This is all about to change for the Czech, whether she wins this final or not; for she will make her WTA Top 10 debut by Monday, and it would be a gross understatement to merely say that Safarova has come a long way. Lucie Safarova is arguably playing the best tennis of her career. The volatility in her results seems to finally be flattening out as she blossoms into a consistent player. Many may be surprised at her entrance in the French Open final today, but the late emergence of Lucie Safarova had been in the workings since last year when she managed to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon, losing to fellow countrywoman and eventual champion Petra Kvitova.
Safarova’s late emergence as a Grand Slam title contender has been nothing less than surprising. Although often considered a talent, she has always been deemed a raw one in the sense that she has been unable to reign in her strengths and fully utilize them to her advantage until most recently. The left-hander has an extremely powerful forehand that she combines with her ability to put high amounts of topspin on, and throughout the tournament we have seen her use her slice serve, and yet throughout her career she has barely managed to reach the precipice of the Top 15 when it comes to the WTA rankings.
The head-to-head between the Czech and the American indeed seems to suggest that the fate of the women’s final rests in the latter’s hands. It is a severely lopsided eight wins to Williams vs. zero wins to Safarova, ranging all the way from 2007 to 2014. However, both meetings from last year are not as severely crushing on the Czech as one would expect. Although at Montréal, Williams won the match in straights, the scoreline read 7-5, 6-4. Better still, their meeting at Beijing late last year saw the Czech clinch a set from Serena in a match that ended as 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 in favor of the American.
Williams’ Grand Slam tally seems to be surging with the force of dominoes recently, with her having convincingly won both the US Open of 2014 and winning the Australian Open earlier this year—this is her chance to win a third in a row. More importantly, winning the 20th Grand Slam title of her career will place her just behind Margaret Court and Steffi Graf in terms of having won the most amount of Grand Slams in their careers in tennis history (Court having won 24 and Graf having won 22). It is a rather momentous milestone, and it seems that Williams has all but grabbed it.
After a tumultuous Grand Slam on the women’s side, the concluding round has turned out a highly unexpected match-up at Roland Garros. On one side there is the reigning Queen of the Women’s Tennis Association—Serena Williams going for her 20th Grand Slam title. On the other, we have the twenty-eight year old Czech into her first ever Grand Slam singles final: Lucie Safarova.
Hello, this is Mariam Khan here with you to cover the French Open women's final Live between Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova. Stay tuned for the preview of the upcoming match.