ESPN analysts Cliff Drysdale and Chris Evert say that one of the reasons why world No. 1 Serena Williams is their favorite to win her second Roland Garros crown is because she is a much calmer competitor. Williams, who enters the French Open on a career-best 24-match winning streak, won her lone Roland Garros crown in 2002.
“You've got to remember that her serve is so dominant now," Drysdale said. “The court is playing a little faster at the French, so that's helping her. Number two, she's not squawking and squealing like she used to on the court. She's much calmer. I think that's made a huge difference to her as well. She's much more patient. She doesn't take things as seriously as she used to. She's in a much better place mentally. She cannot be beaten by anybody but herself.”
Evert, who won a record seven French Open titles, agreed, but both mentioned that red clay is Serena’s weakest surface and stressed she would be most vulnerable in the first week.
“If you look at her on TV, she's managing her emotions in between points so much better and she's managing her energy,” Evert said. “She's conserving her energy. She's like in her own little zone, own little world. She's going to need that for the French.”