Welcome to French Open Flashbacks, where wtatennis.com will take a look back at some of the most memorable narratives from Roland Garros over the past 20 years. After recapping Charleston's classics, Stuttgart's standards, Madrid’s magic moments, and Rome's records, our retrospective heads to the culmination of the clay season in Paris - up next is Sofia Kenin's statement win over Serena Williams in 2019.
For more classic moments, check out our other French Open Flashbacks:
1999: Graf wins 22nd and final Grand Slam title
2000: Pierce fulfills destiny, rings in millennium with Roland Garros double
2001: Capriati confirms comeback with brave battle in record-setting final
2003: Henin fulfils lofty goals with first of four Roland Garros crowns
2004: Myskina makes history, ushers in Russian dynasty
2011: Li becomes Asia's first Grand Slam champion in historic triumph
2012: Sharapova reclaims World No.1, completes Career Slam in Paris
2014: Halep serves notice in run to first final in Paris
2016: Mladenovic, Garcia delight home fans with fairytale triumph in Paris
2017: Ostapenko powers to Roland Garros title out of left field
2008: Gutsy Ivanovic claims World No.1 ranking, Roland Garros title
THE MOMENT: American Sofia Kenin announced her intentions to contend on tennis' biggest stages by virtue of a best-ever French Open run last year, which saw her score a shock victory over Serena Williams along the way.
When the draw for the tournament was released, all eyes were on a potential clash between No.10 seed Williams and No.22 seed Bianca Andreescu in a projected round of 32 — but their section of the draw also included Kenin, who was making waves of her own as one of the most in-form players over the season's first five months.
The buzz around a projected match between Williams and Andreescu was heightened by the fact that the reigning Indian Wells champion was making her return from a shoulder injury that kept her off the circuit since March — but ultimately, it was the unseeded Kenin who crashed the party and reached the round of 16.
With the Canadian again plagued by that injury — which sidelined her again until her own sizzling summer — after a marathon win over Czech Marie Bouzkova in the first round, Kenin earned a berth in the third round via a walkover for her best-ever French Open result, and a first-ever meeting against Williams.
In a match that lasted just over 90 minutes as daylight turned to dusk in Paris, Kenin kept Williams guessing with precise hitting from the baseline, routinely forcing her corner-to-corner before finishing the point with deft touch.
The then-20-year-old took command of the match from 2-2, handing Williams the colloquial 'hidden bagel' by virtue of a six-game swing which earned her a 6-4, 2-0 lead.
Though she'd lose serve in a marathon sixth game, where Williams finally broke serve after missed five previous break point chances, Kenin hung tough in the set's middle stages as she served from behind.
Behind another late surge, Kenin won the last three games of the match, and denied Williams a chance to break in the match's final game before wrapping up the 6-2, 7-5 victory.
Overcome with emotions after the victory on-court, as she fought back tears after earning the third Top 10 victory of her career, Kenin later called Williams a 'true champion and inspiration' when discussing the match in the press room.
"I don't normally cry after a match. I had so many emotions playing on Chatrier," she said. "I have always imagined playing there and winning a match. I went there today with the mentality to go and win."
THE MEANING: Eight months before she'd hoist the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at the close of her major-winning fortnight at this year's Australian Open, Kenin's victory over her legendary compatriot in Paris earned her a spot in the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time.
In the round of 16, Kenin was beaten by eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in three sets, but the American's best-ever showing at a Grand Slam to that point was one of the highlights of a breakout 2019.
En route to being named WTA Most Improved Player of the Year, Kenin reached four finals last season, and won the first three titles of her career.
Following the French Open, she went on to win the Mallorca Open on grass in June and the Guangzhou Open in September, qualifying for the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai and competing as an alternate at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.
Entering the French Open just outside the Top 32 seeds at World No.35, Kenin ended the season ranked World No.14, as she ultimately rose more than 40 spots in the world rankings from her position at World No.56 at the start of 2019.
In a full-circle moment for Kenin, she also was the first American player to win the tour's Most Improved award since Serena did so in 1999.