OTHING, absolutely nothing could stop Serena Williams winning her 20th grand slam singles title and the American joyously bounced around in delight as she hoisted the glistening French Open trophy on Saturday.
The world No 1’s 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 triumph over Czech 13th seed Lucie Safarova seemed unlikely 24 hours earlier as the American battled the debilitating effects of flu.
It also looked a dim prospect when Safarova had broken for a 2-0 lead in the third set.
Yet Williams is not considered one of the all-time greats for nothing and she screamed, shouted and roared to victory.
When she allowed a 6-3 4-1 40-15 lead slip through her fingers in the second set she raged at herself. As usual, the top seed’s commitment to the cause was never in doubt.
As Williams celebrated by raising both arms and looking skywards, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou held up two fingers with one hand and shaped an 0 with the other to signal her 20th triumph.
“It has been a nightmare 48 hours,” said the 33-year-old.
“When you have the flu your whole body aches. That’s what I have been dealing with,” Williams added following a third Roland Garros victory which left her only behind Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22) on the list of leading major winners.