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On This Day: Serena Williams wins 20th Grand Slam title

On This Day: Serena Williams wins 20th Grand Slam title
© Reuters
Lucie Safarova was beaten in three sets at Roland Garros.

Serena Williams won a third French Open title and her 20th grand slam on this day in 2015 after beating Lucie Safarova in three sets to be crowned champion at Roland Garros.

Williams had been hampered by illness in the lead-up to the Paris showpiece but the world number one showed her mettle to hold off a Safarova fightback and win 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-2.

It left Williams, who won the Australian Open the previous January, two short of Steffi Graf's 22 major titles and four away from Margaret Court's all-time best 24.

While Williams was playing her 24th major final, it was Safarova's first, and
the Czech pushed her world number one opponent to the limit in an enthralling
contest.

All the talk in the build-up to the match had been about Williams' health after
the American spluttered her way through a semi-final victory against Timea
Bacsinszky.

World number one at the time, Williams said she was suffering from severe symptoms of flu and took a bathroom break before play even started, asking to leave the court for a short time after the knock-up.

But any extra encouragement Safarova had drawn from Williams' pre-match problems were extinguished as the American wrapped up another grand slam triumph in two hours and one minute.

Williams will be bidding for her eighth Wimbledon singles title this summer
Williams will be bidding for her eighth Wimbledon singles title this summer (John Walton/PA)

Williams became only the third person to win each grand slam at least three times after Court and Graff and later that summer went on to win all four grand slams in a row by defeating Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-4 at Wimbledon.

After defending her Wimbledon crown in 2016, Williams won her 23rd grand slam singles title at the 2017 Australian Open, beating sister Venus in the final, and surpassing Graf's open era record.

At the current French Open, Williams is bidding to equal Court's record and plays Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina in the fourth round on Sunday.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21121245
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171245
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10151136
AustraliaAustralia1031326
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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