Serena Williams is very much considered the favourite to win the French Open and her victory over Italian Roberta Vinci on Sunday, testifies to that.
The top seed overcame a second set challenge from the Italian and ended the contest with a 6-1, 6-3 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier, yet to drop a set in the tournament.
Williams, on the quest for a second title at the Roland Garros, last won the championship 11 years ago and she has not made the semi- final for ten years.
Having made it into the quarter- final in the ongoing tourney, the 31- year- old will be up against Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the pair’s contest at the same stage of the competition in 2009, on her way to winning the trophy.
Former champion Kuznetsova beat Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a rematch with the world number one in the quarter- final.
“It will be a good match,” said Williams. “The last time we played here she won, so that will probably get her pumped up and she’s on a comeback.
“She has nothing to lose but everything to gain. She also wants to do well, and she’s won this tournament before.”
Serena’s Victory over Vinci extended her winning- streak to a career- best 28 matches. That goes a long way to say she’s in the best form of her life.
“Every day everybody is like, ‘You’re on this streak,’ but for me it’s about winning the matches,” Williams said.
“At the end of the day I just want to hold up the winner’s trophy and whatever it takes to go there.”
Against Vinci, Williams racked up five unforced errors in the first game- and- a- half, and a double- fault offered her break point, which she utilized, getting a backhand winner.
Williams followed that with a clenched fist and then broke once again with a thumping smash that got Vinci stunned.
The American did not find the second set as easy as the first, which lasted for just 29 minutes, because Vinci pulled her own little stunts.
A superb drop shot of a fizzing return at the start of the second set showed that the top seed could play with touch, and she needed to as Vinci’s test had began.
Williams found herself stooping for short balls, with Vinci waiting at the net to pounce on any opportunity, and when she hammered one forehand only to see the Italian guide it past her on the half- volley, her growing frustration was clear.
However, she ended Vinci’s challenge with a swift break to love and a convincing hold to proceed to the quarter- final for the fifth time.