Serena Williams vs Julia Goerges: French Open 3rd round preview and prediction

39;I feel like a warrior'- Serena Williams makes a stunning comeback
39;I feel like a warrior'- Serena Williams makes a stunning comeback Credit CHRISTOPHE SIMON AFP
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04 June, 2018

In this combination of file photographs created on June 3, 2018, Russia´s Maria Sharapova (L) plays a forehand return to Netherland´s Richel Hogenkamp during their women´s singles first round match at French Open on May 29, 2018 and (R) Serena Williams of the USA plays a backhand return to Germany´s Julia Goerges during their women´s singles third round match on June 2, 2018. "This time past year I was pregnant and I was having a tough time and then I had a tough birth so every match at this stage of my return is a bonus", Williams, who suffered multiple complications following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia, said courtside. She will next face either 23-time grand slam champion Williams or German 11th seed Julia Goerges, who were playing over night, in the fourth round.

Serena Williams put in her most impressive display since her comeback from pregnancy as she defeated Julia Goerges to set up a fascinating last-16 tie with Maria Sharapova. Williams has won 19 of 21 head-to-head matchups against Sharapova, including the last 18 in a row.

"This is the first time I come into an event with really not too many expectations", Williams said on the court Saturday.

"It's been a while, and I think a lot has happened in our lives for the both of us in very different ways", said the 31-year-old Sharapova. Williams owns three French Open championships, Sharapova two.

Williams and Sharapova are slated to play at 8:15 a.m. ET on Monday morning. It contains quite a bit of material about the American, including a reference to Williams crying in the locker room after losing to Sharapova in the Wimbledon final 14 years ago.

Williams: "I honestly don't have any thoughts about that".

"I think the name Williams carries a lot of weight at Grand Slams", Goerges told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

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"I think there are a lot of things in her game that she's done much better than I have". Whenever I play her, I go out the way I play everyone else. It proved to be a good battle between the pair, with Williams just edging the Czech out of the first set, which seemed vital, and eventually winning 7-6 6-4. I think if anything, it shows the passion and the desire and, you know, the will that you have to want to go out there and do the best.

Sharapova advanced Saturday with a similarly lopsided win hours earlier, beating 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-1.

Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain has crushed Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-2 to book a spot in the women's fourth round.

Meanwhile, adding even more spice to Monday's duel in the dust at Court Philippe Chatrier is Williams's assertion that Sharapova is nearly obsessed by the American who is named more than 100 times in "Unstoppable". No sooner had Sharapova packed her bags than she failed a test for the banned substance meldonium - which she announced at a stage-managed press conference in a dowdy Los Angeles hotel in March, pre-empting the official statement by the International Tennis Federation.

The story of Day 7, though, was what everyone can look forward to on Day 9: Williams vs. Sharapova. They are the only active women with a career Grand Slam; they are two of six in history to accomplish that.

Williams tried to play down the tag of favourite, given her lengthy absence after giving birth.


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