Williams sets up tilt for 20th career grand slam title

Ross McLean
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TOP seed Serena Williams shook off the effects of illness and the loss of the opening set to confirm her place in the French Open final by dispatching Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky yesterday.

World No1 Williams came from a set down for the fourth time at Roland Garros this year, surpassing her previous record of three at a Major, to triumph 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and pave the way for a tilt at a 20th grand slam singles title.

The 33-year-old will face 13th seed Lucie Safarova, who defeated Ana Ivanovic of Serbia to become the first Czech woman to reach a French Open final in 34 years.

Williams was visibly suffering in the rising Paris temperatures but found a way to dispatch 23rd seed Bacsinszky and surge into the French Open final for the third time in her career.

“I thought I had lost but I found some energy and I won. I hope I get better for Saturday. I feel ill,” said Williams. “I’m not sure how I did it. I just thought I didn’t want to lose without a fight.”

World No13 Safarova, meanwhile, powered through to her first grand slam final by dispatching Ivanovic 7-5, 7-5, bettering her progress to the semi-final at last year’s Wimbledon.

“It’s a dream come true, I still cannot believe it,” she said. “I started slowly but tried to keep up the level and play really aggressively because that was the only way to win.”

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