In-Form Serena Storms Past Garcia
Published May 29, 2013 12:01
The No.1-seeded Williams was on her game from the get-go, serving strong - she never faced a break point - and playing cleanly and aggressively from every other wing as well. At the end of the day she compiled the kind of winners-to-unforced errors differential that wins Grand Slams - 27 to 9, or +18.
"I think she played really well. I think I played well," Williams said. "I came out strong because I knew I had to. I knew she was a tough player so I did what I had to do to make it to the next level here.
"I was really focused the whole time. I wanted to be serious and just get this win under my belt."
Speaking of belts, fashion is always a big part of the World No.1's on-court presence - she was asked about her outfit in her post-match press conference. "It's going well for me so far," she said. "It's funny, every time I do designs for the French Open, I promise the best outfits are here. I don't know why. For some reason I feel like we put our best foot forward in Paris. I think when you come to the fashion capital of the world, subconsciously it's just the best stylist, the best silhouette, the best colors.
"Maybe I always want to look good in Paris because usually I don't stay on the court very long!"
Given her level of play of late, Williams' joke probably won't become a reality - a deep run, even a run to the title, seems well within reach for the World No.1. And she's also winning the French fans over as each match goes by, as she has been giving her post-match on-court interviews in French.
"I studied French a long time ago," Williams said. "My dream was always to travel to Africa and do a lot of work there. I learned that in Africa they speak French - it's like one of the most popular languages over there. So when I was really young I wanted to speak French. So I studied, and I think I was like in sixth grade when I first started. Ever since then I have been doing studies and studies, and when I was in college last year I was going to take a French class, but they didn't offer it for that particular semester. I haven't really done anything formal in a while, but I have a long history with France, and after I decided I wanted to go to Africa, I decided I wanted to win the French Open and speak French for my acceptance speech. So all of that kind of influenced me as well with the language.
"I have actually done it before, but no one remembers it, because it was before time. It was BC."
Meanwhile, Garcia was impressed by Williams' play, and talked about making it to that next level.
"The most impressive thing about her game is her accuracy - she strikes the ball hard, but I was also running around a lot and there were a lot of balls that were difficult to return," Garcia said. "I have a lot of things to take home with me. Her serve, her returns - when she gets a softer ball, she jumps all over it and puts it away. I need to work on my game if I want to give her problems next time we play."
Williams has now won 26 matches in a row, tying her for the third-longest winning streak of the new millennium, alongside Victoria Azarenka's 26-match winning streak in early 2012. Venus Williams has the longest, 35 in 2000, while Justine Henin has the second-longest, 32 across 2007 and 2008.