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Serena Williams confident of defending French Open crown

Paris: World No 1 Serena Williams came into the French Open main draw with only one title in nine months but the American has said she’s confident of defending her title at Roland Garros.

Serena crushed out of the US Open semi-finals last year against Roberta Vinci, which ended the 34-year-old’s hopes of sweeping all four Majors of the calendar.

Serena Williams
World No 1 Serena Williams returns during a training session ahead of the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday. The second slam of the year kicks off on Monday. PIC/AFP

She had not win a title since then until last weekend when she beat compatriot Madison Keys to lift the trophy in Rome, reports Xinhua.

Despite the low profile, the 21-time Grand Slam winner, who has played only four tournament in 2016, entered three finals, including that of the Australian Open where she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the third seed here for this year’s French Open.

“For me, if I’m not winning, I’m not happy about my year,” said Williams on Friday.

“Four tournaments, three finals isn’t bad for, I think, everyone else. Then again, I’m not everyone else. I guess when you win all the time, if you go to a couple of tournaments and don’t win them, it’s like you’re in a drought.”

Serena pulled out of Madrid through illness but did not drop a set in Rome, the only clay tourney she attended before coming to Roland Garros.“It felt good to win in Rome, obviously. I was feeling pretty confident going into some of those matches. Especially the last few I felt a lot better. “Even if I’d have lost, I feel like some of those matches really gave me the match play that I needed,” she added.

This year’s French Open gets underway today. The women’ s singles final is set for June 4, a day ahead of the men’s final.

Meanwhile, it will feel a little different to Rafael Nadal this year but no less special. For only the second time since his French Open debut in 2005, the Spaniard arrived in Paris without the tag of defending champion. — Agencies

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