Wimbledon.com's thoughts on the women's singles final as Serena Williams triumphed over Maria Sharapova, 6-4, 6-4 to claim her second Roland Garros title, 11 years after her first.
Trailing Maria Sharapova 0-2 in the opening exchanges of the French Open final, Serena Williams directed a furious glare towards the end of the court. It was her way of celebrating a winning shot, as she broke the Russian back to clamber back into the match. Williams was on a 30-match-winning streak, hadn't lost a match against Sharapova for 12 previous occasions, and had won two of the last three Grand Slams. But all of that would be irrelevant if she couldn't claim win No.31. This French Open final, a year after being humilated in the first round by Virginia Razzano, was the one that mattered.
She had to work for it. Her 6-4, 6-4 defeat of her long-time rival was far removed from the 6-0, 6-1 beatdown the world No.1 had delivered to Sara Errani in the semi-finals. Sharapova pushed and prodded, a figure far more confident on the court than the shadow who was so helpless against Serena in the Olympic tennis final 10 months ago. Saving three break points in the opening game, and then ruffling Serena by breaking her immediately, Sharapova produced periods of what it would take to beat Serena. But she couldn't sustain those periods for long enough. Surviving more break points at the beginning of the second set was admirable, albeit somewhat delaying the inevitable, as Serena continued to play as well as she as done in Paris since beating her sister to claim her first French Open title in 2002.
Breaking Sharapova on the next occasion, Serena served out her 16th Grand Slam title with an ace on her first match point, and fell back onto the red clay in celebration as if it were as soft as a mattress.
"Eleven years," Williams said in French during the trophy ceremony. "I think it's unbelievable. Now I have 16 Grand Slam titles. It's difficult for me to speak because I'm so excited."
"Maria really wanted it. That was maybe the best she's played against me."
Joining Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf as the only female players to have completed the career Grand Slam twice, at the age of 31 years and 247 days, the younger Williams became the oldest ladies' singles champion at Roland Garros since 1958.
Margaret Court remains the leader of the women's pack, her 24 Grand Slam singles titles a seemingly unbeatable record. But this display was further proof that age is far from a limiting factor for Serena.
"I want to go out [retire] at my peak. That's my goal. But have I peaked yet?" she laughed.
It sounds like she has time yet.
Elsewhere in Paris...
Kyle Edmund became the first British player to claim a French Open title of any sort as he and Frederico Ferreira Silva claimed the boys' doubles title. It was a second junior Grand Slam title for the well-thought of Edmund, who won the US Open boys' doubles title last year.
Coming up on Sunday
12 noon Philippe Chatrier - Women's doubles final
Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci v Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina
NB 3pm Philippe Chatrier - Men's singles final
David Ferrer v Rafael Nadal
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