The women's final at the 2015 French Open is set for Saturday, when No. 1 Serena Williams will take on No. 13 Lucie Safarova. There's also still one undecided men's semifinal between No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray.
An incoming storm forced the match to be suspended with Djokovic leading 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 3-3 in the fourth set. The Roland Garros Twitter account has the information:
As noted on the Rolland Garros website, the match will resume at 1 p.m. local time, followed by the women's final.
Bad Break for Murray
After being handled easily through the first two sets, Murray grabbed momentum with a third-set triumph, and he was hanging tough in the fourth set. The stoppage in play may rob him of the rhythm he had established.
With time to regroup and refocus, Djokovic should regain firm control of the match and end it in four sets.
He may have been on his way to doing that anyway on Friday, but the suspension can only be seen as a break for the top seed.
On Thursday, it took three painstaking sets for Williams to defeat No. 23 Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 on Thursday, but the future Hall of Famer got it done.
Bacsinszky played well, but it was the flu that seemed to give Williams the roughest time on Thursday. She visibly labored through almost every point, but throughout the struggles, she played focused and almost errorless tennis in the final one-and-a-half sets. Williams won the final 10 games of the match to win going away.
The Huffington Post compared Williams' performance to another amazing athlete's "Flu Game."
After a day off to rest, everyone—except Safarova—is hoping Williams is back to top form on Saturday. Williams has made a habit of losing the first set before rallying throughout this tournament. It has happened four times, but that could be playing with fire.
Safarova hasn't been getting off to slow starts. In fact, she's looked pretty dominant en route to the final. She beat former champion and No. 7-seed Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinal.
From this recent tweet, you can see the 28-year-old Czech is pleased with her accomplishment:
Does she have enough in the tank to slay another former champion and the best female player in the world?
The short answer is: no.
|French Open Women's Final Prediction|
|Match||Date and Time||Prediction|
|1. Serena Williams vs. No. 13 Lucie Safarova||Saturday at 9 a.m. ET||Williams|
|No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 3 Andy Murray (continued)||TBD||Djokovic|
|RolandGarros.com for time, picks by Mazique|
Williams has won all eight of the previous meetings with Safarova. That includes two dominant straight-sets wins on clay in 2012 and 2013. Williams' serve has been the biggest factor in the matches. The world No. 1 has averaged 11 aces per match in the finalists' last two meetings.
She has also won at least 59 percent of her first service points in each of the last five meetings. Safarova needs to completely turn these numbers around to pull the upset.
Grand Slam Experience and Fatigue
Safarova's run has been amazing, but Williams has three times as many Grand Slam titles as her opponent has singles titles.
In addition to her remarkable singles run, Safarova is also in the women's doubles finals. The dual feat is an accomplishment, but as Williams knows from her days of playing singles and doubles with her sister Venus, pulling double duty can be physically and mentally taxing.
Chances are, Safarova will need all of her energy just to remain competitive with Williams.
The overwhelming edge in Grand Slam experience will push Williams past tough moments—mentally and/or physically. Safarova's potentially decreased energy level could help level the stamina dynamic if Williams is still hampered by the effects of the flu.
In any case, Williams will win her 20th Grand Slam and third French Open with a straight-sets victory.