Serena Williams Wins 20th Grand Slam Title

Serena Williams survived a mid-match blip against Lucie Safarova to claim her 20th Grand Slam title in Paris on Saturday.

The top seed hit 34 winners- including 11 aces- and broke seven times to clinch a 6-3 6-7(7-2) 6-2 win and take her third French Open title.

The 33-year-old is now two titles shy of the Open-Era record set by Steffi Graf with 22 major wins.

Serena claimed initiative early into the match, breaking for a 3-1 lead. She had only lost five points on serve and blasted off nine winners at 4-1; however, the next three games went with serves as her 28-year-old foe tried to stay in contention, but Serena deservedly served out the 31-minute first set.

That was a first set loss for Safarova, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, all tournament.

Serena Williams Poses With Her Third French Open Title. Image: RG via Getty.
Serena Williams Poses With Her Third French Open Title. Image: RG via Getty.

Serena began the second set with the same intensity as the first, claiming her second and third breaks of the match to move 1-0 and 4-1 clear.

The Czech, having come thus far, was not giving in to pressure and she took her first break of the match at 4-2 before Serena went on a frustrating run of four consecutive games to trail 5-4.

A couple of winners and a fourth break saw the world No. 1 take a 6-4 lead but Safarova won the 12th game of the second set to force a tie-breaker, in which the American could not keep her unforced errors count down; allowing her opponent to rally back to a set apiece.

At that point, the statistics never made up for any optimism on Safarova, who had only managed 5 wins in 11 three-setters prior to Roland Garros, but the 13th seed was brimming with confidence and broke Serena in her opening service game.

Serena could not hide her disappointment on her way back to her chair on the changeover, trailing 1-2.

With 11 wins from all her previous tie-breaks in 2015, Serena proved her rating was not a fluke as a break and a love hold helped her reclaim a 3-2 lead. She reeled off three straight games to close out her third triumph at the Philippe-Chatrier.

The win took her head-head-head record over Safarova to 9-0; her 54rd at the clay major.