Serena Williams set for showdown with Maria Sharapova at French Open | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / September 18.
  • Serena Williams set for showdown with Maria Sharapova at French Open

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    PARIS (AP) — There was no rust evident. No comeback needed. Serena Williams quite simply produced the best performance so far in her return to Grand Slam tennis and easily reached the French Open’s fourth round.

    Williams dominated for stretches against 11th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany, playing cleanly right from the start of a 6-3, 6-4 tour de force at Court Suzanne Lenglen that lasted a mere 75 minutes Saturday and lacked much in the way of theatrics.

    Now, then, comes the drama. Next for Williams as she competes in a major tournament for the first time in 16 months – and since giving birth in September – will be a familiar foe, Maria Sharapova.

    The 36-year-old Williams set up that showdown by making only three unforced errors in the opening set against Goerges, 12 in all. She won 12 consecutive points on her serve during one run.

    The most-anticipated matchup for a quarterfinal spot at Roland Garros will pit 23-time major champion Williams against five-time major champion Sharapova on Monday. Williams has won the French Open three times, Sharapova twice.

    They are the only active women with a career Grand Slam; they are two of only six in history to accomplish that. They are Nos. 1-2 among active women in career clay-court titles: Williams has 13, Sharapova 11. Both have been ranked No. 1.

    But the head-to-head history is overwhelmingly in Williams’ favor: She has won 19 of 21 meetings, including 18 in a row.

    The last time Sharapova beat Williams was – get this – in 2004.

    Sharapova advanced Saturday with a similarly lopsided win hours earlier, beating 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-1.

    Other women moving into the fourth round included 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, two-time French Open finalist Simona Halep, two-time major title winner Angelique Kerber and reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

    Photo: USA Today Sports



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.