Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 9th 2013 Contents PARIS---Serena Williams won
her 16th Grand Slam title and her
first French Open championship
since 2002 yesterday, relentlessly
chasing down one shot after
another to defeat familiar foil
Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4.
"Eleven years," Williams said in
French during the trophy ceremo-
ny. "I think it s unbelievable. Now
I have 16 Grand Slam titles. It s
difficult for me to speak because
I m so excited."
Then the national anthem
played for the first American sin-
gles champion at Roland Garros
since Williams previous title.
Williams whacked 10 aces,
including three in the final game,
and the last came on match point
at 123 mph---her hardest serve of
the day. She then sank to her
knees, screamed at the sky and
buried her face in the clay.
The victory completed her
rebound from a shocking loss to
111th-ranked Virginie Razzano in
the first round at the French Open
a year ago. Since that defeat she s
74-3, including titles at Wimble-
don, the US Open, the London
Olympics and the season-ending
Both finalists swung with their
typical aggressiveness from the
baseline, but Williams superior
serve and defense proved the dif-
ference. She silently ran side to
side whipping groundstrokes with
little apparent strain, while Shara-
pova often found herself lunging
after the ball to stay in the point,
with each shot accompanied by
her familiar shriek.
When Williams once sum-
moned a grunt herself to match
Sharapova s volume and pound a
winner, the crowd responded with
Sharapova completed a career
Grand Slam by winning Roland
Garros last year, but she s still look-
ing for a breakthrough against
Williams, who has won their past
13 meetings since 2004.
"I played a great tournament
and I ran into a really tough cham-
pion today," Sharapova said.
Lately Williams beats everyone.
She extended her career-best win-
ning streak to 31 matches.
At 31, she became the oldest
woman to win a major title since
Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon
in 1990 at age 33. Her 11-year gap
between Roland Garros titles is
the longest for any woman.
Williams, who has a home in
Paris, is already thinking about
winning again next year.
"I love Paris," she said. "I spend
a lot of time here. I live here. I
practice here. I think I am a
Williams also congratulated
Sharapova during the ceremony.
"She played a beautiful final,"
Williams said in French. "She s a
great champion. I hope to be with
her again next year."
"Merci beaucoup," Sharapova
responded with a laugh.
In an all-Spanish final today,
Rafael Nadal will try to become
the first man to win eight titles at
the same Grand Slam event when
he plays first-time major finalist
The women s final, the first
Slam tournament since 2004,
wasn t as close as their rankings.
It has been 12 years since the most
recent three-set women s title
match at Roland Garros.
Playing in hazy, warm weather,
the finalists took ferocious swings
from the start. With fans perhaps
fearful that Williams would win
quickly, they began shouting
encouragement toward Sharapova
after she lost the first two points.
She overcame four break points
to hold in the opening game and
led 2-0 before Williams began to
assert herself. It took Williams 17
minutes to win a game, but then
she swept four in a row.
After Sharapova took the next
two for 4-all, Williams surged at
the end of the set, taking the lead
for good by winning eight of the
final 10 points.
Sharapova had to dig in again
to hold at the start of the second
set, fending off five break points,
and it was all downhill for her from
there. Williams easily held serve
all the way to the finish.
She improved to 16-4 in Grand
Slam finals. She leads all active
women with her 16 major titles
and is sixth on the all-time list.
Margaret Court holds the record
Williams improved to 43-2 this
year, including 23-0 on clay. Now
comes the switch to grass, and she ll
be a heavy favourite to win Wim-
bledon for the sixth time. (AP)
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Serena Williams, of the US, lifts the cup after defeating Russia's Maria
Sharapova after the Women's final match of the French Open tennis tournament
at the Roland Garros stadium yesterday in Paris. Williams won 6-4, 6-4.
HALLE---Rafael Nadal has pulled out
of the Gerry Weber Open to rest
ahead of Wimbledon.
Nadal says the grueling physical
demands of recent weeks, including
the French Open, led to his decision to
withdraw from the grass-court event.
The 11-time Grand Slam winner
plays fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in
today's French Open final, after
coming through a ferocious five-set
encounter with top-ranked Novak
Djokovic in Friday's semifinal.
Nadal says "after these past months
and all the matches I have been able
to play my doctors have
recommended to rest after Roland
Nadal's place will be taken by
wildcard Mischa Zverev of Germany.
Nadal's withdrawal leaves Roger
Federer as the favourite to win his
sixth title at the Halle tournament,
which begins tomorrow. (AP)
at French Open
...cops 16th slam title
Women---30 and Older Grand Slam
Open Era (1968-present)
Martina Navratilova, 1990 Wimbledon, 33 years-263 days
Virginia Wade, 1977 Wimbledon, 31-357
Serena Williams, 2013 French Open, 31-256
Billie Jean King, 1975 Wimbledon, 31-225
Chris Evert, 1986 French Open, 31-169
Margaret Court, 1973 US Open, 31-55
Serena Williams, 2012 US Open, 30-347
Martina Navratilova, 1987 US Open, 30-331
Margaret Court, 1973 French Open, 30-322
Billie Jean King, 1974 US Open, 30-290
Serena Williams, 2012 Wimbledon, 30-284
Ann Jones, 1969 Wimbledon, 30-261
Martina Navratilova, 1987 Wimbledon, 30-260
Chris Evert, 1985 French Open, 30-170
Margaret Court, 1973 Australian Open, 30-169
Nadal withdraws from Gerry Weber Open to rest
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