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Serena Williams Will Avenge French Open Misstep with Strong Wimbledon Showing

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24:  Serena Williams of the United States in action during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Anna Tatishvili of the United States on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 24, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Andrew GouldFeatured Columnist IVNovember 7, 2016

Serena Williams enters her quest for a sixth Wimbledon title with a chip on her shoulder planted by a lackluster French Open performance. Knowing her, she'll quickly knock it off with a dominant run at the All England Club.

Despite losing to Garbine Muguruza in the second round of the 2014 French Open, Williams enters this year's Wimbledon as the No. 1 seed and runaway favorite. That's because the 17-time Grand Slam champion is always the favorite.

The 32-year-old star has little to prove in terms of bolstering her already indelible legacy, but the short-term storyline shifts to her needing a Wimbledon win to sustain her stronghold over the women's tennis division. 

After all, longevity is hard to preserve in this trying sport. As Tennis.com noted on Twitter, Williams has put herself on a field of her own by still holding a No. 1 seed at Wimbledon.

Unfortunately for everyone else fighting to claim her throne, an angry, focused Williams is their worst nightmare. When asked about her French Open loss to Muguruza, Williams did not offer a hackneyed line about moving on, per Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline Twitter page.

Before the tournament began, she also shared her motivated state of mind with The Independent's John Skilbeck.

"I'm going to go home and work five times as hard to make sure I never lose again," Williams said. "If I couldn't play better I would be even more disappointed. But I know I can, so I know I have something to look forward to."

She went right to work during the opening round in England, extinguishing Anna Tatishvili in two quick sets. Looking more like herself, Williams earned 31 winners and dropped just three games to earn a convincing victory.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 25:  Serena Williams of the United States celebrates a point during her women's singles match against Alize Lim of France on day one of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 25, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Anyone expecting her to dwell on her past shortcoming was barking up the wrong tree. While Williams is prone to some lapses of play, they rarely come in succession. When faced with defeat, Williams refuses to accept a similar result shortly after.

Her early French Open exit was not the first time Williams was sent packing prematurely at Roland Garros. In 2008, Katarina Srebotnik pulled off a stunning upset during the third round. Williams bounced back to make the finals at Wimbledon, where she fell short against her sister, Venus.

Two years ago, Virginie Razzano knocked out Williams during the opening round in Paris. Williams wasted no time redeeming herself, capturing first place at All England Club months later. Although the star is erratic, she usually does not falter in consecutive majors.

Serena Williams Following Early Grand Slam Loss
TournamentFinishNext TournamentFinish
2013 WimbledonRound 42013 U.S. OpenW
2012 French OpenRound 12012 WimbledonW
2011 WimbledonRound 42011 U.S. OpenFinal
2008 French OpenRound 32008 WimbledonFinal
2006 U.S. OpenRound 42007 Australian OpenW
WTATennis.com

Of course, a long path still awaits Williams before she can achieve redemption. On Thursday morning, she'll face Chanelle Scheepers, who won her first career Wimbledon match in five tries earlier this week. Later on, the bracket gets difficult.

Williams would face Alize Cornet, who defeated her in Dubai this year, if both women advance past Round 3. A French Open-semifinalist in Eugenie Bouchard or Andrea Petkovic would likely be waiting in the next round, and Maria Sharapova is lurking for a potential quarterfinal bout.

Still, they should all be the ones fretting a matchup with Williams, who touts a career 70-9 Wimbledon record. Don't mistake her French Open shortcoming as a sign of deterioration. It's just a slight hiccup that the top-ranked tennis titan will quickly subside at Wimbledon. 

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