For Serena Williams, the French Open is a bit of a stretch

The French Open is the Grand Slam tournament in which Serena Williams has played and won the least, but it has been nothing more than a footnote in her long and level career.

Foxy red clay obscures some of her strengths and limits her ability to change the flash in her direction, but she has climbed to the top in Paris after dropping some deep deep valleys, including her first-round defeat in some singles tournaments.

In that sense, his up-and-down experience at Roland Garros is the microcosm of his extensive tennis journey. Williams has many things – drive, draw, maternity, regional and sophisticated talent – but it’s all above resilient.

Paris, a city that has enjoyed enough to make it a part-time home, proves the point, perhaps better than anywhere else.

In 2020, he is still a contender but not an auto favorite at the age of 39 and with a draw.

“For me, resilience is the ultimate step in an athlete’s heart,” said Marie Carillo, an NBC analyst and former French Open doubles champion who has followed Williams’ career from the start. “I think my appreciation for her is growing. Maybe this is the reason I know he’s so much closer to goodbye than hello. “

Williams proved just as much in New York earlier this month as he fought a three-setter fight despite being out of peak form before losing to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.

Now, Williams is back in Paris after a two-week break and training at the academy of his coach Patrick Mauratoglo in southern France, near Nice. Instead of staying in her apartment apartment on her left bank near the Eiffel Tower, she is staying at the tournament’s Fisheries Hotel nearby: this epidemic-challenging French Open requires all players.

“It’s very different and weird,” he said. “This has always been my home away from home.”

Although most future champions came to the Grand Slam tournament as juniors for the first time, Williams, like his older sister Venus, played a little junior tennis. Instead, he started the main draw in Paris in 1998, reaching the fourth round in singles before losing to title-seeking rantasa Sanchez Vikario.

But the 16-year-old Williams still reached his first Grand Slam final by partnering with Louis Lobo in the mixed doubles.

The following year, Serena and Venus teamed up to win the first Grand Slam doubles title, beating the second pair of high-profile teenagers, Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, -3–3, 7- ((૨), -6–6. 1999 Final

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The sisters will face off in the Grand Slam doubles final. They are 14-0 and in those moments have often been their happy and at least contradictory, but Paris will soon make them opponents again.

In 2002, the French Open was the scene of their first Grand Slam singles final. Win or lose, Vince was guaranteed to return to No. 1, but Serena, who beat him to the family’s first major singles title at the 1999 US Open, beat him 7-5, 6-3 in Paris. Rule No. 1 Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals.

The finale was understandably dull and deceptive. A French fan called “Alez Serenus!” Summed up the conflicting sentiments of the crowd by voicing no. It was also Stakkoto tennis, with most of the points ending in unforced errors.

If the defeat was suppressed, Vince would have taken the pain out of the game, joining photographers during the awards ceremony and wiping shots of his sister. Over the coming year, she will have many opportunities to be gracious as Serena defeated her in the finals of the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Australian Open to complete the so-called Serena Slam.

Serena did not use the label herself. She called it a so-and-so-slam because it came after a bad breakup with her boyfriend who refused to be named in public.

“I so-and-so wanted him to repent of the way he treated me,” she wrote in her 2009 autobiography, “On This Line.” “I wanted him to see me do well everywhere, he sees.”

But the biggest in long history in the game – his 33-match winning streak over the Majors – ended at the Rolling Gardens in 2003 when he faced Justin Henin in the semifinals.

Henin, a Belgian with a backhead bandhand in one hand, had a stylistic contrast with Williams and was the best on clay, eventually winning three French Open.

He knocked Williams off the surface of Charleston, SC, in early 2003, but there was controversy over his beating in Paris. Williams, leading 4-2 and 30-0 in the third and final set, hit first serve when Haney raised his left arm to show he was unwilling to return. The service missed and despite Williams’ opposition, he was not allowed to serve a second first. The chair umpire, George Dias, did not see Henin’s antics, and Haney did not admit he made it.

Williams lost 6-6, -6-., -5-. And the crowd rejoiced. “I had to fight for my life,” he said. “So it’s just another fight I have to learn to win.”

At the time, in light of his dominance, no one had predicted that he would need another 10 years to win his second singles title at the French Open.

There will be a family tragedy, followed by the murder of his older sister Yetunde in 2003. She will have significant injuries, and although she will win other major tournaments several times, she was slammed against Roland Garros.

In 2012, she struck out, making 111 mistakes to the 111th-ranked Virginia Razano in a first-round defeat. It was a brutal, demoralizing shock, but it also turned his career around.

In her confusion, she decided to change her patterns and reached Mauratoglo to see if she could train at her academy, then on the outskirts of Paris. She invited him to give her an outlook on the game, a rarity for a player who usually relied on his parents for coaching.

Mauratoglo told him that even though he was already one of the best players in tennis history, he believed he was an underchaver with his talent and competitive fire.

She took note and then won Wimbledon a few weeks later and played her best tennis to win a gold medal at the London Olympics held on the grass at the All England Club.

“It was her biggest travel force for me,” Carillo said.

His progress paid off on all surfaces, but most dramatically with the new emphasis on his point on the clay and will create more spin and margin for error. He won the French Open in 2013, leaving just one set in the tournament a year after losing to Razzano.

After losing in the second round in 2014, Garbi Muguruza of Spaniard, then only growing, Williams returned in 2015 and bounced again with an enthusiastic performance. She won her third French Open despite having a flu contract and came out on top by giving part of her victory speech in French after defeating Lucy Safarova in the final.

“You have to dig deep and get yourself dirty and not be afraid to win,” said Safrova coach Rob Stackley. “That’s what Serena does best.”

When she plays through the fever she gets dizzy and blows her nose at the changeover, it was a victory that made Williams’ career feel more like a fight with an opponent than any other.

Williams has yet to win again at Ro Ro Garros, but that fight continues. She brought him back into the sport in the late 30s after giving birth in 2017. He has brought her back to Paris and has a hotel room in a place where she usually has a lot of easy options; Autumn darkness and a few fans and heavy balls who do not like his game; In an area full of newcomers and familiar rivals eager to take a swing at the most famous Grand Slam champion of their era.

“I think Serena thinks she has more to say,” Carillo said. “I honestly had a hard time watching Roland Garros Day 1 with Rondi Murray struggling and Venus losing again. I always draw the difference between going back and coming back all the way. I can’t imagine Venus and Murray still thinking, yes, I can win big, and I can reach the top again. But Serena knows it’s true. She hasn’t been able to prove it yet, but she knows her great heart is beating. “

Pull her out, and she will have the best story of Paris yet.