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Could Serena Williams be en route to her most dominant Grand Slam ever?

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Serena Williams

Serena Williams will face 2009 French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova next. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

By Nick Zaccardi

PARIS — Serena Williams’ toughest task at Roland Garros so far? Speaking French.

She’s shown improved skills parler-ing the native language in post-match, on-court interviews, but, unlike her game at the moment, it could still use some work. Former ATP pro Cedric Pioline noted to Williams her multilingual talents after she beat Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-3 in the fourth round Sunday.

“Merci,” Williams responded. … A couple eternal seconds of dead silence. … Interview continues.

WERTHEIM: Best match of French Open so far

So maybe her French isn’t quite fluent, but there’s no mistaking she’s been the anti-John Isner in the French Open’s first week, dropping 10 total games in her first four matches. The first three went 51, 62 and 61 minutes, respectively. She said closing out a match is easier than trying to speak French after it ends.

The world No. 1 needed a comparatively laboring 70 minutes Sunday to reach the quarterfinals, where she will face 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

(Kuznetsova, unseeded here, was told after her fourth-round win that she was flying under the radar and responded, smiling, “I didn’t know I was flying, actually. But OK.”)

Back to Williams. She won the last 10 points against Vinci and is on a 23-set and career-high 28-match winning streak, including 20-0 on clay this year. She’s spent less time on court in four rounds than Isner did in the third round alone.

“Every match I’m really focused for the whole period of time,” she said. “I really want it, every match.”

Has Williams, who’s 71-3 since her first-round loss here last year, ever been more dominant in her first four matches of a Grand Slam? By the numbers, yes, but not in a major she’s won. She lost eight games in her first four matches of this year’s Australian Open but was upset in her fifth by Sloane Stephens.

In Williams’ 15 major titles, she swept her first four opponents eight times. Of those eight, she went the entire tournament without dropping a set four times. Of those four, she went the entire tournament without playing a tiebreaker once: the 2002 U.S. Open, where she also lost 10 games in her first four matches.

serena-williams-2002-us-open

In 2002, she won every major she entered (missing the Australian Open due to an ankle injury) on her way to the Serena Slam at the following Australian Open.

She held on to the No. 1 ranking in New York with her final win over Venus, reportedly saying after, “I like it here at No. 1. I think I’ll stay here for a while.”

Williams’ best previous French Open starts came in 2002, when she lost 19 games and one set in the first four rounds en route to winning, and 2003, when she didn’t drop a set in the first four matches but lost to Justine Henin in the semifinals.

PHOTOS: Best from Saturday at Roland Garros

  • Published On Jun 02, 2013
  • 28 comments
    lloydsed12
    lloydsed12

    YOU CAN NEVER REASON WITH HATERS! HATERS ARE GONNA HATE REGARDLESS, DO NOT RESPOND!

    pios73137
    pios73137

    Sharapova's wing span is pretty scary, the WTA needs to implement height class and reach advantage, I'm sure Sharapova is doped. how can a woman have those huge square broad quater back shoulders, yet both her parents are 5 foot four.


    73luzverde
    73luzverde

    Serena wins all the time.  She is great tennis player, the best

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    no. I mean, in 2011 US open, 2012 Aussie Open, she was similarly dominant and she lost those. Her 6-3 against Vinci shows that she might be cracking up. It all depends on the opposition, if that is a quality buy, Williams could be a goner. But she's sooooo ....  meticulous these days, she definitely has a chance at winning GS 16 ...

    JohnNeubauer
    JohnNeubauer

    I know it was not a slam but she dominated the London Olympics in a rather complete way. Didn't she won the final in like 37 minutes?

    MikeMike2790
    MikeMike2790

    The WTA needs to implement a weight class...

    claudiag
    claudiag

    @ChristianChristian Serena is built just like her mom and venus like her dad. I have several friends who have the same body build as Serena and they do not take steroids. 

    ChristianChristian
    ChristianChristian

    @claudiag @ChristianChristian Thanks for pointing that out to me. I'd never seen an image of her mother and she is a very masculine female. Nonetheless, I suspect that Serena could not have arrived at having those bulging muscles, on top of the frame she inherited from her mother, as a result of training alone.

    ChristianChristian
    ChristianChristian

    @BethannbillyWintour @ChristianChristian  No, they don't test by looks, but my observation is valid, based what people on steroids tend to look like. Serena has avoided tests. Congratulations for not swearing at me, but suggesting that you would like to. The next step is normal communication. Welcome to almost civilization.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @medgabite this was meant only for medgabite!! PREACH!
     

    medgabite
    medgabite

    @ChristianChristian @claudiag 

    I have a few women in my family who are more muscular than many men I see daily.  They are very feminine and  just better toned.  Really weak minded men and jealous women cannot deal with a brown well toned woman dominating a historically white sport.  It blows their minds because they can't understand or measure it.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @ChristianChristian  well, why don't we ask stosur, what she does to get those guns that she carries! certainly,  her well developed and bulging deltoids could not be due to exercise and training alone, COULD IT??

    tpwarren23
    tpwarren23

    @ChristianChristian @BethannbillyWintour Your observation is NOT valid...it's retarded and full of hate. Serena had muscles when she was 16 years old on tour, so you mean to tell me she's been on roids for 16 plus years, yet has a butt and boobs softer and big as any woman on tour? Yet her voice is very feminine and she's still fem. FYI, you can see a huge distinction in women who are using PEDS. Also, how in the world can PEDS make your game as accurate and awesome as Serena? There are PLENTY of girls on tour you should accuse of PEDS if we're going only on looks. You're just young, dumb, and retarded.