June 25, 2019
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Serena Williams vies for 24th Grand Slam title in Paris

 Serena Williams of the United States reacts while playing against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic during their women's singles quarter-final match on day 10 of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 23, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/HAMISH BLAIR

Serena Williams of the United States reacts while playing against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic during their women's singles quarter-final match on day 10 of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 23, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/HAMISH BLAIR

By Luis Miguel Pascual

Paris, May 25 (efe-epa).- The United States’ tennis sensation Serena Williams will start her campaign for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title at the French Open on Sunday.

Although not many are daring to bet on her victory in Paris, Williams is always counted among the favorites to win a Grand Slam.

Williams has always been obsessed with equaling Australian tennis legend Margaret Court's Grand Slam record of 24 titles since the opportunity to achieve such a feat appeared to be within her grasp.

The 37-year-old, most decorated active player has been vying for her 24th crown since March 2018, when she returned to courts after maternity leave.

Williams made it to the final in Wimbledon and the US Open last year but was beaten by Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Japan’s Naomi Osaka respectively.

Now, in Paris, she chases her fourth French Open title not only to level with Belgium’s great Justine Henin, but above all to rise to the occasion of leveling Court’s record.

Since returning to work, Williams has not won a tournament and withdrew from the Italian Open earlier this month with a persistent knee injury.

After her quarterfinal match at the Australian Open, Williams emerged victorious in only three matches this season and could not keep on track afterwards.

Furthermore, Williams has been facing new candidates, starting with world No.1 Osaka.

The 21-year-old Japanese has been crowned in the last two Grand Slams (Australia and the US Open) and although clay is not her best surface and she has never made it past the third round, her play level places her among the favorites.

Osaka has reached two quarterfinals this season in Madrid and Rome and took part in the semifinals of Stuttgart.

She appears to have recovered from her right hand injury that forced her to pull out of the Italian Open.

Another name that has been showing power is former world No.1 Simona Halep of Romania, who is all set to defend her title in Paris, something that no female player has achieved since between 2005 and 2007, when Henin claimed the title three times in a row.

Defeated by Dutch player Kiki Bertens at the Madrid Open earlier this month, Halep entered this season ranked No.1 in the world but fell to No.3 because she has not won any titles so far.EFE

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