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Dhaka Tribune

Serena back on song for French Open

Update : 22 May 2014, 09:22 PM

Defending champion and top seed Serena Williams goes into the French Open having blasted her way to the Italian title last week, confounding those who said that at 32 she was beginning to show distinct signs of wear and tear.

The American lost just the one set in Rome and her 6-3, 6-0 demolition of former French Open finalist Sara Errani in the final served notice that she is back to her steamroller best.

Williams enjoyed an outstanding 2013 when she posted career highs in match wins (78) and titles (11), including her 16th and 17th major championships at Roland Garros and the US Open.

But this year has been much more of a struggle with a fourth-round exit to Ana Ivanovic in the Australian Open followed by a stunning opening-round defeat to 78th-ranked Jana Cepelova in Charleston.

That upset left Williams saying she felt “really dead” and in need of a long layoff, which she duly took up until her return at the Madrid Masters two weeks ago.

She was forced to retire from that tournament at the quarter-final stage with an injured left leg, casting renewed doubts on her hopes of winning a third French Open title.

But her romp in Rome just a week later restored her as an overwhelming favourite to win in Paris at the annual consecration of the claycourt season.

“I am like fine wine. I am getting better with age,” Williams said then although she still had doubts about her fitness going into the year’s second Grand Slam event.

“I feel better but I am not 100%. I am going on adrenaline at the moment, so I’ll take a couple of days off.

“I hope to win one more Grand Slam before I retire, but I don’t want to look too far ahead. There are hundreds of players who want to do the same.”

Evert for one believes she can add to her Grand Slam haul if she puts her mind to it. 

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