Serena Williams Faces Dangereous Second-Round Opponent in Caroline Garcia

Merlisa Lawrence CorbettFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2013

Serena Williams serves in her opening-round match.
Serena Williams serves in her opening-round match.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Serena Williams easily made it through her first-round match, 6-0, 6-1, against Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili. 

Her next opponent could prove trickier.

Williams will face French teenager Caroline Garcia. The heavy-hitting Garcia has experience taking on a tennis icon on the big stage at Roland Garros.

Two years ago, at age 17, Garcia nearly upset Maria Sharapova. Garcia was up one set and led 4-1 in the second before Sharapova came charging back to defeat the teen 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.

After that match, many predicted Garcia would rise to the top of the WTA. Andy Murray even proclaimed via The Telegraph,  "This girl is going to be No. 1 in the world."

However, since that amazing French Open debut, Garcia has been less than impressive. She is ranked No. 114 and relied on a wild card to enter this year's French Open.

But she is ready to take her best shot at Williams.

When asked about her chances against Williams, Garcia told the New York Times,  "She’s a bit of a living legend...She’s won a lot of titles and has been No. 1. She’s really a formidable champion. I don’t have much chance, but I do have a chance. So we’ll see."

Through a translator, in her post-match interview, Garcia said her plan is to “try to bother” Williams. Perhaps she meant rattle. Sometimes Williams becomes emotional, loses focus and her game suffers.

Williams will have to battle Garcia and French fans. Although Williams has an apartment in Paris and speaks French, the crowd will surely be behind Garcia, just as it was behind Virginie Razzano when she upset Williams last year in the first round.

It was the first time Williams had lost in the first round of a Grand Slam.

Tennis commentator and former tour player Pam Shriver told the New York Times:

I think she’s thought about it every day. . . I think she was very prideful of that record, having never lost in the first round, and the way it happened, with the French crowd and a French player, was, I think, particularly difficult.

I think for her, it had a little of the same taste as losing to Maria Sharapova in the ’04 Wimbledon final. But this time it’s an event she wants revenge on, rather than a person. And I think she does great when she wants, deep down, to get revenge. She has a great record.


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