The second Grand Slam of the tennis calendar saw a familiar face triumph on the women’s side while an unexpected men’s champion lifted the ‘Coupe de Mousquetaires’ on a sunny weekend in Paris.
Former Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Serena Williams won her 20th Grand Slam over first time finalist Lucie Safarova. Williams fought through an illness to beat her Czech opponent 6-3 6-7 6-2.
"Lucie was a magnificent opponent for me, she was very aggressive. I was a set up and break and I got nervous but I came through and I'm so happy to be part of the history. I can't believe I have won my 20th here in Paris on this court, it is very special," said the American after her match.
Serena Williams will hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time in her career if she wins Wimbledon next month. The original 'Serena Slam' was completed at the 2003 Australian Open, and if she does it again, she will be just one Grand Slam title shy of Steffi Graf's Open Era record of 22.
On the men’s side, Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland overcame the odds beating World No. 1 and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Novak Djokovic in a thrilling final. The 2014 Australian Open Champion beat Djokovic, strong favourite coming in to Roland Garros, by a score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
“Novak was playing well, but I knew what to do,” said Wawrinka following the match. “I was trying to have longer rallies, trying to play more deep, trying to play more aggressive from the baseline, and little by little, I started to be the player inside the court.
“I just tried to be focused. That’s the most important thing. That's the only way I can give myself some chance to beat the top guys.”
Novak Djokovic was looking to become just the eighth player in history to win all four major titles, joining Andre Agassi and Roger Federer as players to complete the feat in their 11th trip to Roland Garros. Moreover, he was seeking to extend his overall winning streak to 29 straight matches.
"Every single player who is here, especially the top players, want to win this trophy as much as do. I think that's something that we have to keep in mind. I'm not trying now to release the pressure for myself. Pressure is part of what I do. I got used to it. I had many tough matches in my life.
"Today I went out on the court knowing I'm close, but across the net I had also a player that wanted to win and he had a match to lose. He was playing very well. He deserved to win.” said the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Djokovic.
The Serb heads into Wimbledon as defending champion while Wawrinka will attempt to win his first title at SW19.
Serena Williams’ victory is Melbourne and now in Paris cements her as one of the greatest players of all time and makes her yet again a strong contender for a Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year nomination.
On the other hand, Wawrinka’s win truly disrupts the Grand Slam dominance of the ‘Big Four’ (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) of the last decade and makes him a strong favourite for any tournament he plays as we enter the grass court swing.