Serena Williams is one step closer to a third title at the Roland Garros following her comeback win over Timea Bacsinzky in the semi-finals on Thursday.
The American beat Bacsinzky 6-4 6-3 6-0 and sets up Lucie Safarova in Saturday’s showdown.
Czech Safarova will be seeking for her first win over Williams in her first Grand Slam final after 8 previous attempts, including two defeats in Charlestone (2012 and 2013). The 13th seed is yet to drop a set in Paris following her straight sets win over Ana Ivanovic in the other semi-finals on Thursday.
Win over Bacsinzky was Serena’s fourth at this year’s Roland Garros after dropping an opening set.
“I’m not sure how I did it,” Williams said in her on-court interview. “I just thought I didn’t want to lose without a fight.”
Bacsinzky however bows out of the clay Grand Slam having reached her career best result at a Major. The Swiss showcased purple patches of solid form in the first set, when she broke the top seed in the fifth game and held serves to close out a 6-4 win in 42 minutes.
She also converted her sixth break point of the game to take a 2-3 lead, but Williams, 33, rarely bows to pressure and she quickly broke back with a backhand winner and then reeled off three more game points to force a decider and level on 2 break points apiece.
She was back firing on all corners in the third set, taking nine straight games, including her eighth ace, to serve for the match; which she took when Bacsinzky, 25, fired a backhand wide.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion trails only Steffi Graf (22 titles) on the list of women’s singles Majors winner in the open era and tied for third on the all-time list with Helen Wills Moody behind Graf and Margaret Court (24 titles).
Bacsinzky will nonetheless move up to a career-high 15th when the WTA rankings are released on Monday, an occasion which will coincide with her 26th birthday.