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French Open ladies’ singles final: Williams will stop Safarova

WTA world number one Serena Williams even wins tennis matches when she is ill. Suffering with flu and sickness brought on by the heat during this year’s French Open, Coral still make the all-time Grand Slam great a strong odds-on 3/10 favourite for a third Roland Garros crown.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick,” Williams said after coming from a set down in the semi-final to be surprise Swiss contender Timea Bacsinszky. “I didn’t expect to win that, I really didn’t. I got the flu after my third-round match and I’ve been really struggling ever since then. Hopefully this is the worst and I’ll get better from here.”

Standing in Serena’s way and from gaining a 20th individual Grand Slam title is Czech Republic player Lucie Safarova (5/2 outsider), who has never reached this stage of any of tennis’ four majors before. A semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, the 13th seed has lost all eight of her previous head-to-heads with Williams.

Two of those were straight sets defeats on clay courts. It’s odds-on at 4/5 that Serena slaughters Safarova like that again, and it’s a better price than backing Williams to win outright.

Roland Garros - Semi Final - Safarova Defeats Ivanovic - Paris

It is thus very easy to count the Czech out. Punters would be overlooking the fact that this late bloomer has knocked out three of the top 20 women in the world en route to a maiden Grand Slam final.

On Safarova’s Roland Garros hitlist are 2008 Ana Ivanovic, Sabine Lisicki and last year’s winner and second seed Maria Sharapova. If she raised her game to stun the Russian racket star, then surely it’s possible to go to the well one more time and upset Williams?

History is against Safarova, but if she is to pull off yet another shock here, then it looks like going the distance. Odds of 5/1 say she can slay Serena in three sets.

Coral betting tip: As valiant as Safarova’s efforts have been, it would be foolish to bet against Williams and all her Grand Slam experience. Back Serena at 4/5 in straight sets.