French Open 2012: What Tennis Great Serena Williams Must Do to Win the Crown

Breana PittsContributor IIIMay 22, 2012

ROME, ITALY - MAY 16:  Serena Williams of the USA celebrates a point against Nadia Petrova of Russia in their second round match during day five of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2012 at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 16, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

"And Serena Williams wins the 2012 French Open!!!" 

In order to hear those words, the tennis great must keep her body in top condition as the tournament approaches. She is already taking steps to preserve her body while continuing to be a top competitor this year.  

Williams has a whopping 27 Grand Slam titles—13 in singles, 12 in women's doubles and 2 in mixed doubles—which is more than any other active player, male or female. She has two Olympic gold medals in women's doubles. Despite all of these accomplishments, however, Williams has only conquered the French Open once, and that was back in 2002.

Williams was on a hot streak before she withdrew from the Italian Open with a lower back injury. Williams withdrew shortly before she was scheduled to meet French Open champion Li Na in the semifinals. She had been on a winning streak of 17 matches, winning consecutive titles in Charleston, SC and Madrid, plus two matches in Fed Cup. 

The tennis player told Simon Cambers of IBN Live she was pulling out of the competition as a precaution: 

"On Friday morning I felt a bit of pain in my lower back, and if it's not 100 percent, it's better not to play and make it worse. But I am in good form, I have a few days to get better and I am confident I will be 100 percent fit for the French Open."  

If Williams wants to win the French Open, she must be extremely careful not to further injure her lower back. It is important for her to be 100 percent, especially since injuries have hampered her in recent years.

Williams must pay close attention to the condition of her body, especially since she hasn't competed in back-to-back big tournaments since last summer. 

Right now, the 30-year-old might be in the best shape of her life. She seems eager to compete while maintaining a relaxed, calm demeanor. The only thing that could stand in her way is injury. However, if Williams competes at 100 percent, she is the sure favorite to win the French Open.