[CR1] Serena Williams (USA) defeated [CR40] Sloane Stephens (USA) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
How many more times can Williams recover from dropping the first set? She leads the stats in the majors for winning the most matches after dropping the first set. Yet, one wonders if eventually it will not begin to take a toll, mentally as well as physically? At this age, recovery is slower and no matter how fit she is, it must catch up to her.
She will have to be much more alert in the next round against [CR17] Sara Errani (ITA). Errani came close to beating Williams in Federation Cup’s World Group Play-Offs in April of this year. Errani is not going to let Williams get away with another slow start and despite the day of rest, Williams has got to be feeling a tad exhausted.
It’s not only physical exhaustion; the emotional stress of trying to win her twentieth Major title may be the real reason why Williams is struggling so much. We have seen Williams struggle at the beginning of major tournaments; however, usually by the second week, she finds her form. That has not been the case this French Open. Will she find it in time to avoid another third set match or worse, elimination from the tournament?