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Summary

  1. Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova
  2. Williams wins 20th Grand Slam title
  3. Williams was suffering from illness before final

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Serena Williams

    As Serena Williams continues to pose for photographs with this shiny little number, and considers how she will celebrate in the French capital tonight (possibly with some hot lemon), it is time for us to wave goodbye.

    Or, more precisely, au revoir. Because we will be back tomorrow to discover who will join Serena at the top table of the champions' dinner. Either Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka will be sat there. See you then!

  2. Post update

    As you now know that is Serena Williams's 20th Grand Slam win and strengthening her second place in the women's singles chart during the Open Era. She is now just two behind Steffi Graf's record....

    Steffi Graf (22)

    Serena Williams (20)

    Chris Evert (18)

    Martina Navratilova (18)

    Serena Williams with the French Open trophy
  3. Post update

    Serena Williams has smiled more in the past 10 minutes than she has done in the past two days. Those sickness blues seems just a distant memory as the 33-year-old American grins for a variety of poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen. The flashbulb lights of the press pack are going ten to the dozen.

  4. Post update

    Wonder if Lucie Safarova practised a winning speech? If she did then she might be able to recycle the best bits tomorrow.

    That's because the Czech has another shot at Roland Garros silverware when she contest the women's doubles title.

    Safarova and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands came through a two-hour-10-minute semi-final against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka yesterday, and face Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova in the showpiece.

  5. Post update

    Serena Williams gets another chance to show off her more-than-passable French.

    It is a dream for her, it is a magnificent occasion, congratulations to Lucie, which way is the swimming pool. You know the drill...

    Serena Williams
  6. Post update

    Runner-up Lucie Safarova talking to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier: "Most importantly I had such great support from you fans. It is a great pleasure playing here and I promise I will work harder to get even better. Merci Paris!"

  7. Get involved via #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    Ben Dalton: Congratulations Serena Williams. Such a strong woman, so deserving of her success. One of the biggest stars in sport

    Ayo Obit: What a Champion! 20 major titles! She will go for the SerenaSlam Mark II at @Wimbledon next month.

    Lanre Adeola: Serena is fond of two things: Giving hope to her opponents and dashing it while it's highest; and giving her fans blood pressure.

  8. Post update

    Runner-up Lucie Safarova talking to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier: "It has been a great two weeks here for me - so many emotions and great wins. Serena - you were amazing today, you're a great fighter, so congratulations."

  9. Post update

    Serena Williams is up and she hoists the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen aloft to a soundtrack of epic strings. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou claps away with a smile plastered over his chops, a star-spangled banner bobs up and down high in the cheap seats and now a French crowd stands for the American national anthem.

    They don't do this lightly over there.

    Serena Williams with the trophy
  10. Post update

    Martina Navratilova has come down to present the prizes and a reverential hush falls as some highlights from her two French Open titles, in 1982 and 1984, play out on the big screen.

    First up is the runner-up Lucie Safarova...

  11. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova

    Ooh la la! Paris is reputedly the city of love - and Serena Williams is feeling all slushy as she speaks to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.

    "I'd like to thank all my friends. It has been a dream for me. Thank you everyone for all your support. I love you, I love you, I love you," gushes the 33-year-old American.

  12. Post update

    Russell Fuller

    BBC tennis correspondent on Radio 5 live

    "The gap between Serena Williams and the rest - even when she is playing at 80%, even with 34 years on the clock - is frightening at times."

    Serena Williams
  13. Williams wins French Open

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova

    After taking the acclaim of Court Philippe Chatrier, Serena Williams gallops over to her box. The American's coach - and boyfriend - Patrick Mouratoglou is ready with open arms to give the champion a warm embrace.

    Defeated Lucie Safarova sits ashen-faced on her chair, contemplating what might have been.

  14. Post update

    Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "What a great match from both players but Serena has come out as a true champion, fighting back from 2-0 down in the third. It has been a tremendous tournament for Lucie Safarova though."

  15. Game, set and match - Williams

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova

    All over! Serena Williams drops her racket and points both arms up to the Paris sky as her 20th Grand Slam title is confirmed.

    The American was a break down in this decisive set, but shows all her experience to bounce back and crowbar her way into three championship points.

    The first goes begging when Safarova digs deep with a thumping serve. But the plucky Czech's resistance does not last much longer, swatting a forehand return into the net.

    Serena Williams upon winning the French Open
  16. Post update

    Alistair Bruce-Ball

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator

    "Here is a stat for you, Lucie Safarova is attempting to win a Grand Slam title for the first time in 40 appearances at the big four events. Marion Bartoli's win at Wimbledon 2013 was in her 47th Grand Slam, Jana Novotna's debut success at 1998 Wimbledon was in her 45th Grand Slam. But Safarova is next on the list. If she can win here..."

    Lucie Safarova
  17. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 5-2 Safarova*

    If Williams holds this serve then she is just one game from the match. Again.

    The pressure builds at 30-30. Williams knows she needs to produce with this next delivery. And she does! A big serve from the American cannot be returned by Safarova, who then clubs a weary forehand into the net on the decisive point.

    Safarova must hold here or her hopes of a maiden Slam win will go up in smoke...

  18. Get involved via #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    Adam Poots: Serena Williams is not winning any fans here. Her attitude is a real disappointment.

  19. Williams breaks

    *Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 4-2 Safarova

    Another Williams yelp means one thing - her tennis is improving. Safarova blows another 30-0 lead as Williams stretches this one out into deuce. The American nicks advantage before the 13th seed skittles a backhand wide - cue another loud Williams shriek. And another stern look in her direction from the umpire.

  20. Post update

    British doubles player Jamie Murray on Twitter: "Never understood why the female players continue to stand on baseline to return Williams serve. Equivalent of Andy doing same against Isner. Take steps back and give yourself more time to return the ball into play. More returns made = more chances to win more points."

  21. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 3-2 Safarova*

    Williams is going nuts at herself - shouting, screaming and swearing as she cajoles herself into action. The funny thing is that her anger increases when she wins the point. Four winning points without reply means she is about to explode as she trots over to her seat at the change. And that earns her a quiet word in the ear from the umpire for her troubles...

    Serena Williams
  22. Williams breaks

    *Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 2-2 Safarova

    Williams has been the Harry Houdini of this year's Roland Garros, producing four escapology acts on her way to the final. Time for another in the match which matters the most?

    Safarova leads 30-0 before Williams decides it is time to bring her A game back to the party. A wonderful sweeping backhand creeps past Safarova to set up break point, which the Czech coughs up with a double fault. A clear sign of nerves....

  23. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 1-2 Safarova*

    This is more like the Serena Williams that we all know. The powerful American responds to that early break with a routine hold to love. Boy, did she need that one....

    Serena Williams
  24. Get involved via 81111 on text and #bbctennis

    Matt on text: Safarova winning hearts and minds with a strong performance but Serena is too good and will prevail...I think?

  25. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 0-2 Safarova

    Lucie Safarova is flying! The 13th seed is causing all sorts of problems for the world number one, who is tripping over a pile of errors. Williams has no reply to the Czech, who holds her serve to the delight of the Chatrier crowd.

  26. Safarova breaks

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 0-1 Safarova*

    Safarova might look a picture of concentration but she must be delighted inside to be still out on Court Philippe Chatrier at 16:50 local time. An hour ago she must have thought she would have been heading to Charles De Gaulle Airport in a taxi right about now.

    Williams coasts into a 30-0 lead but conspires to toss the game in Safarova's favour with a pair of unforced error and a - yep, you've guessed it - double fault.

    Safarova leaps into the air when Williams prods a backhand wide - the Czech leads in this final for the first time!

  27. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 0-0 Safarova

    Remarkably Safarova's comeback means that the French Open women's singles final goes to a third set for only the third time in 15 years. Williams to serve first....

    Serena Williams serves at the French Open
  28. Get involved on #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    David Rowberry: Just when you think this match was going through the motions, Safarova throws in a curveball. Great tennis!

    Jack O'Regan: Safarova? Should be called Safar-doesn'tknowwhenit's-over. Am I right?

    Leigh Baldwin: Best Ladies Final I have seen in any of the Grand Slams for ages Lucie Safarova is a true fighter

    Alexander J Green: Yes! Well done Lucie!

  29. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) Safarova

    Phew! If, like me, you need a moment to catch your breath back then this is it. Both players sit in their chairs - Williams almost slumped - wearing stony expressions.

    Safarova, playing her first major final remember, shows the resilience of a Slam-winning veteran to shock Williams. The Paris crowd wanted more and now they've got their wish....

    Lucie Safarova celebrates winning the set
  30. Safarova wins second set

    Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) Safarova

    Four set points and it only needs one. A popping serve out wide and Serena Williams buries her return into the gauze.

    From a set and a double break down, Safarova has a shot at one of the great comebacks.

  31. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (2-6) Safarova

    Two serves for Safarova to take this final into a third set. Here's the first...and she wins it. Williams goes long with a scrabbling forehand - Safarova is one point away from levelling....

  32. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (2-5) Safarova

    Serena Williams lands with her first serve, extraordinary defence from Lucie Safarova, Serena Williams surely though with an easy, high bounce on the baseline. No! Williams hooks an easy backhand wide to give away the point.

    Serena Williams gives away another point
  33. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (2-4) Safarova

    Williams needs a big serve - and that's what the American gets. Safarova sticks her strings in the way of a Williams bullet, but can't direct the ball to safety.

  34. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (1-4) Safarova

    Now then Lucie Safarova - big serve out wide - Serena Williams hooks a return back. Wide! Just!

    Lucie Safarova
  35. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (1-3) Safarova

    Safarova has ball in hand - this is the Czech's chance to put some distance between her and Williams. A wonderful rally eschews, ending when a rogue backhand from Safarova finds the tramlines.

  36. Tie-break

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (0-3) Safarova

    The wheels are coming off the Williams express train. A tame backhand into the net and Safarova has a double mini-break and a 3-0 lead. Two Safarova serves to come...

  37. Post update

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (0-2) Safarova

    Mini-break to Safarova! That's because Williams shoots herself in the foot again, with a seventh double fault of the match. Unbelievable.

    Lucie Safarova
  38. Tie-break

    Williams 6-3 6-6 (0-1) Safarova

    Lucie Safarova to get us going and she lands with a feisty first serve and follows up with a deep forehand that Williams cannot claws back. The purple patch continues and Safarova is 1-0 up.

  39. Safarova breaks

    Williams 6-3 6-6 Safarova*

    Wow. Wow. Wow! Put your hands up if you saw this one coming? Me neither. Safarova pulls a rabbit out of the hat - or a neat forehand winner down the line to be more precise - to break the Williams serve. Tie-break time!

    Serena Williams
  40. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 6-5 Safarova

    Earlier we saw Andy Murray unable to maintain such a high level of concentration after drawing level with Novak Djokovic - and it looks as though the same has happened to Safarova.

    The Czech wrestled her way back into this contest brilliantly, but the mental and physical exertions of wiping out that double break back have now hit her like a Serena-shaped juggernaut. The 13th seed cannot cling on to her serve, cheaply hitting a pair of long returns before the American pulls a backhand winner right out of the top drawer to take the game.

    One more service hold and Williams is the Roland Garros champion for a third time...

  41. Post update

    Williams 6-3 5-5 Safarova*

    Serena - that's one euro in the swear box please. The American loses her cool, turning the Parisian air blue, as she hammers a second serve past her opponent for 15-0. Another yelp follows as she slams down her eighth ace of the match to draw level again in this remarkable second set.

    Serena Williams is frustrated
  42. Get involved on #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    Rich P: And so it begins...The unthinkable?

  43. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 4-5 Safarova

    Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "This is absolutely amazing - so many double faults creeping into Serena Williams' game. In every match you always get a chance, a little opening to get back into the match. It is all about Lucie Safarova trying to take that now."

  44. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 4-5 Safarova

    Miles Maclagan

    Former coach to Andy Murray and Laura Robson on BBC Radio 5 live

    "It is quite remarkable - five double-faults in two games from Serena Williams. The situation has got to Serena and there are more unforced errors, she is not hitting the ball as cleanly and suddenly Lucie Safarova has a little more time on her shots. She is well and truly in this match."

    Lucie Safarova
  45. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 4-5 Safarova

    That old rogue Mo Mentum has sloped away from Serena Williams and is now cosying up to Lucie Safarova on the opposite of the court. The Czech clambers out of a potentially sticky spot at 30-15 to hold serve and heap the pressure back on to her illustrious opponent.

    That is four games on the bounce for the 13th seed as Williams serves to stay in the set...

  46. Safarova breaks again

    Williams 6-3 4-4 Safarova*

    Oooh, there is another glimmer of hope flicking across the red Roland Garros clay and into Safarova's sight. The Czech leads 15-0, and then 30-15, when she entices Williams off the baseline and into a pair of heavy returns. Williams looks a touch rattled. The pair become embroiled in a long rally, which ends when Serena spoons a double-handed backhand into the depths of the tramlines. Two break points...

    And Safarova needs just the one! Again Williams is her own worst enemy, introducing another double fault to the Czech's side of the scoreboard. Well, well, well...

    Lucie Safarova
  47. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 4-3 Safarova

    Imagine if Safarova handed that break straight back. Just imagine. Not a chance! The Czech wakes up the Paris crowd with a comfortable hold - they don't want to go home yet. Can Safarova find another chink in the Williams serve? (Or, more accurately, will Williams's serve spontaneously combust again?)

  48. Safarova breaks

    Williams 6-3 4-2 Safarova*

    Williams has already accelerated down the back straight, she has rounded the bend and is now eyeing up the finish line.

    Oh, hang on. Someone has ran onto the track and stick a hurdle in the way. Williams rattles through the first point but gives Safarova hope with a double fault. Then, follows that up with a 120mph ace.

    But the American has another meltdown. First she slashes into net for deuce and then cooks up two rotten double faults to give Safarova hope. Little hope, but hope nonetheless.

  49. Get involved on #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    Le Millenium: Serena is the greatest of them all... It's a privilege to witness her success. A true champion

  50. Double break for Williams

    *Williams 6-3 4-1 Safarova

    Somebody call the brass band and get some banners made quick - that's all we need to complete this procession. Williams is marching towards a third Roland Garros title. Safarova puffs her cheeks out, almost resigned to her fate, as a backhand winner gifts a break point to Williams. And the American pounces on it like a hungry cheetah, swatting a hefty backhand towards the back of the court.

    Serena Williams
  51. Post update

    Williams 6-3 3-1 Safarova*

    Serena Williams

    I'm running out of superlatives here. Williams is simply imperious. That's a sick and unwell Williams, don't you forget. The American lets out a loud grunt as she puts everything behind a brutal backhand winner down the line to regain her advantage. I've barely got the energy to nip to the shop across the road when I'm ill, never mind smash an opponent all over the tennis court. In 22C heat.

  52. Get involved via #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    Rich P: Break of serve first game of 2nd set and match already as good as over. Serena certainly has her 'game face' on today. Immense.

  53. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 2-1 Safarova

    Respite for Safarova, who will be delighted to look up and see her side of the scoreboard grinding into action. The Czech tries to get Williams moving across the baseline, which she does to a degree of success, clinging on to the hold. But she is still a break down remember....

    Lucie Safarova
  54. Post update

    Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "Serena has been so dominant today it is not that Lucie is not playing badly or is nervous. She has just been overpowered by Williams who has been playing so well.

    "The one thing I would like to see Lucie do is try the serve out wide more to get Serena moving more and further out of court. She just has to stay positive and hope to spot an opening, a chance to switch the momentum in this match."

  55. Post update

    Williams 6-3 2-0 Safarova*

    Safarova isn't playing badly - she just isn't playing at Williams' level. Remarkable power and poise from the world number one as she rattles off a service hold in a matter of seconds.

  56. Williams break

    *Williams 6-3 1-0 Safarova

    Philippe Chatrier

    There are no clouds in the electric blue Paris sky - but if there were then they would be hovering ominously over Lucie Safarova. The Czech manages to keep Williams at bay in two break points, but has no answer on the third when the American powers a forehand winner past the hapless Safarova.

  57. Post update

    *Williams 6-3 0-0 Safarova

    Safarova opens up in a must-win set for the 13th seed. She shanks one horribly wide at 0-15 - that was the equivalent of a footballer hitting the corner flag with a stray shot. That contributes to a break point for Williams, but Safarova saves with a sensational second serve. Deuce. The Czech grabs the advantage with her first ace of the afternoon, before seeing her next serve hammered straight back past eyeline by an effortless Williams forehand. On we go....

  58. Murray positive after best-ever French Open

    Andy Murray speaking to BBC Sport:

    "It was tough day yesterday and I didn't start how I wanted, but I got back into it and in the fifth I has a chance at the start, but failed to take it.

    "It is the closest I have ever been to making the finals of the French Open so that is positive and I think physically I was very good in this event.

    "At the start of the clay-court season I certainly didn't this I would win as many matches as I have in a row, but it would have been nice to win one more and make the final."

  59. Get involved via #bbctennis or 81111 on text

    Viv: Not much one can say about Serena Williams (win or lose) she's simply the best...

  60. Game and first set - Williams

    Williams 6-3 Safarova*

    "Aaaargh!" screams Serena Williams after Lucie Safarova's forehand into the net gives her the first set. Not sure if that was a shriek of joy, relief, or both. Either way she has got the set column on the scoreboard ticking in her favour.

    Williams fires down a bullet of an ace for a 30-0 advantage and then Safarova finds the tape to give the American the comfort of three set points. One slips through Williams' her fingers as a deep Safarova return puts her in trouble. But the Czech's joy is very shortlived - now she faces an uphill task.

    Serena Williams
  61. Post update

    Williams 5-3 Safarova*

    Talking of keeping cool - Safarova has to keep hers. The Czech is serving to stay in this first set. Williams means business, punching back some meaty forehand as she batters Safarova's defence. The 13th seed hands her opponent a break chance - but battles back to force deuce and then claim a gutsy hold. Over to you Serena....

  62. Post update

    Williams 5-2 Safarova*

    Serena Williams

    Ice towels were a common sight during Williams' laboured semi-final win against Timea Bacsinszky - and she has been digging deep in the freezer again. The American drapes a white towel across her head to keep cool at the change.

  63. Post update

    Williams 5-2 Safarova*

    While Williams is not very sprightly between points, she is light on her feet when the ball is being pinged into her side of the court. The world number one sees a 30-0 advantage wiped out as Safarova's arrows a speedy backhand towards her intended target. Bingo. But Williams ups the ante gain, finishing the job with a third ace of the match.

    Serena Williams
  64. Post update

    *Williams 4-2 Safarova

    Much better from Safarova, who is desperately trying to hang on to Williams' coattail. That the Czech manages to do with a decent service game. Williams, as she tends to do, shuffles slowly between points - almost tortoise like - trying to preserve her sapped energy levels.

  65. Post update

    Williams 4-1 Safarova*

    Most mere mortals would struggle to perform as well as this at work when they are 100%, never mind after being tucked up with a hot water bottle for the past couple of days. Williams' service game is too hot for Safarova to handle at the moment, a couple of double faults from the American being the only bones thrown to the Czech.

    Serena Williams serves
  66. Get involved via #bbctennis and 81111 on text

    Ayo Obit: If Serena wins this final, calling in sick will no longer be an excuse not to come to work!

  67. Williams breaks

    *Williams 3-1 Safarova

    Thought Safarova would be able to take advantage of Williams's illness? Think again. On this evidence Williams looks as fit as a fiddle. The American's power is there for all to see, spanking a backhand winner for 30-0, before unleashing a crunching, dipping forehand to clinch the game.

    Lucie Safarova
  68. Post update

    Miles Maclagan

    Former coach to Andy Murray and Laura Robson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I think that both players will be content, with their start but especially Lucie Safarova who will have been delighted to get her first service game on the board. That is half the battle when you are playing the imposing aura of Williams

    Lucie Safarova

    "Serena is always a little slow around the court between points, but there is nothing wrong with her power when she is striking the ball. There was a backhand in that first game that was a real statement of intent."

  69. Post update

    Williams 2-1 Safarova*

    Another Williams ace confirms another Williams hold. Safarova had a sniff at 40-30 but the American quickly yanks that rug from under her feet. The world number one trudges off to her seat at the change of ends, with the weary walk that we saw in Thursday's semi-final.

    Serena Williams
  70. Post update

    *Williams 1-1 Safarova

    Any nerves that Safarova might feel on her Grand Slam final debut will be eased with a routine hold. A backhand winner from the world number one does not ease the tension, before the Czech finds her rhythm to edge 40-15 ahead. A loose forehand has the head jangling again, but Williams misses the target with a forehand. All square.

  71. Post update

    Williams 1-0 Safarova*

    Historically the French have enjoyed an uprising - and the Chatrier crowd make it clear from the start that they are supporting the underdog.

    Williams opens up with a booming first serve, but it is Safarova's passing winner for 15-15 which earns the biggest cheer. However, Williams soon stamps her authority, ending a simple hold with a thunderbolt of an ace. If that is Williams feeling under the weather...

    Serena Williams
  72. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on BBC Radio 5 live

    "I think Serena will have just nipped back to the bathroom before the start of the match. That is probably because she has been hydrating heavily with her illness and the hot weather. Serena Williams is looking a lot, lot better to me compared with a few days ago in the semi-final."

    Listen live via the audio icon at the top of this page.

  73. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    Both players nip off court for a final trip to the loo - let's hope Williams hasn't thrown up. Moments later they return and it is Williams to serve first. Game on!

  74. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    Serena Williams waves to the Chatrier crowd as she knocks up wearing a smart black drill top. She must be sweltering! The mercury has risen to about 21C in Paris, with the cloud-free sky as blue as the River Seine. Beautiful.

  75. Tale of the tape

    Williams v Safarova

    Williams
  76. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    Both players wave to the Paris crowd, stick their bulging bags next to their chairs and then meet at the net to contest the toss. Williams wins - and opts to serve first. Still no hint of a smile from the world number one as the pair pose for the obligatory pre-match photograph.

    Lucie Safarova and Serena Williams
  77. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    The mood music is pumping out of the Chatrier sound system. The French announcer flicks his microphone - and his voice - into gear. That means the players are walking out on to court.

    Safarova, decked out in pink top and lilac headband, bounds out first, with a headphone-wearing Williams trooping out moments later. The American does not look a bundles of laughs, not surprising really when you've been laid low with a bug.

  78. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    How can Lucie Safarova win Roland Garros on her Grand Slam final debut? Here's some advice from a woman who knows a thing or two about triumphing on the Paris red clay - seven-time champion Chris Evert.

    "Safarova she has got to serve out wide with that lefty serve and get a lot of first serves in because Serena will stomp all over her second serve," the American tells ITV Sport.

    "She needs to keep hitting the angles because the beauty of Safarova's game is that she can create sharp, acute angles. Also she cannot be afraid of taking chances - she cannot play her normal game against Serena."

  79. Safarova to stop the rot?

    Williams v Safarova

    Lucie Safarova
  80. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    Serena Williams

    Williams, who is aiming for her third Roland Garros title, did not practise on site or do any pre-final news conference on Friday. Instead she was left festering in her Paris apartment, where she was visited by a doctor, presumably drinking plenty of water and boosting the Vitamin C levels.

    "I think I have some kind of flu, which makes it tough, because it's just a matter of resting and keeping hydrated - there's not much else I can do," she said.

    "I've felt really cold, so I'm just fighting that, trying to sweat it out. A doctor is coming to see me and we'll see if he can do anything else to help, but I don't think there's anything.

  81. Route to the final - Safarova

    Williams v Safarova

    Lucie Safarova

    First round: beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (11-9)

    Second round: beat Kurumi Nara 6-2 6-0

    Third round: beat Sabine Lisicki (20th seed) 6-3 7-6 (7-2)

    Fourth round: beat Maria Sharapova (second seed) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4

    Quarter-finals: beat Garbine Muguruza (21st seed) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3

    Semi-finals: beat Ana Ivanovic (seventh seed) 7-5 7-5

    Total time on court: 10 hours 23 minutes

    Average rank of opponent: 24

  82. Route to the final - Williams

    Williams v Safarova

    Serena Williams

    First round: beat Andrea Hlavackova: 6-2 6-3

    Second round: beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 5-7 6-3 6-3

    Third round: beat Victoria Azarenka (27th seed) 3-6 6-4 6-2

    Fourth round: beat Sloane Stephens 1-6 7-5 6-3

    Quarter-final: beat Sara Errani (17th seed) 6-1 6-3

    Semi-final: beat Timea Bacsinszky (23rd seed) 4-6 6-3 6-0

    Total time on court: 9 hours 59 minutes

    Average rank of opponent: 67

  83. Who is Lucie Safarova?

    Williams v Safarova

    Lucie Safarova

    What do you mean you don't know much about Lucie Safarova? Luckily we are here to help.

    The Czech leftie is contesting her second Slam semi-final, having lost in the last four to eventual champion Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon last year.

    The 28-year-old 13th seed has not yet dropped a set at Roland Garros last year and, of course, beat reigning champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

  84. Post update

    Williams v Safarova

    We catch our first glimpse of Lucie Safarova, who is limbering up in the bowels of Court Philippe Chatrier. A few stretches, a few words of final encouragement from her coach. And a little bit of shadow smashing and volleying against a clean white wall. Almost time to enter stage left....

  85. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "Earlier Serena Williams took her first steps on court since Thursday, out on Court Four under the watchful eye of coach Patrick Mouratoglou, and after some gentle stretching she wielded a racquet. Well wrapped up in long sleeves and a pink baseball cap, she was not exactly moving much but hitting the ball fine.

    "The American was given a pass on media duties for the last two days but, from her apartment, she told the WTA: 'I think I have some kind of flu, which makes it tough, because it's just a matter of resting and keeping hydrated - there's not much else I can do."'"

  86. Post update

    Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova

    So Serena Williams is human like the rest of us. Sometimes that has not always looked the case as the world number one has aced and volleyed her way past opponents with consummate ease.

    The 33-year-old's semi-final victory against Timea Bacsinskzy wasn't always easy though. She went a set down. And she felt rotten because of flu-like symptoms.

    But she still won. Now, after missing her pre-final media commitments yesterday to recover, she is back on her feet and raring to go.

  87. Post update

    Serena Williams v Lucie Safarova

    "Morning boss, it's me.

    "No, I'm not alright to be honest - I feel terrible. I'm sneezing, coughing, wheezing....I can't get out of bed.

    "I'm not going to be coming into work today I'm afraid."

    Serena Williams might not be feeling 100%, but the chances of the American ringing in sick at Roland Garros are slimmer than the latest smartphone. The world number one has a 20th Grand Slam title to win.