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Summary

  1. Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova
  2. Williams wins 20th Grand Slam title
  3. Williams was suffering from illness before final

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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Serena Williams
Getty Images

As Serena Williams continues to pose for photographs with this shiny little number, and considers how she will celebrate in the French capital tonight (possibly with some hot lemon), it is time for us to wave goodbye.

Or, more precisely, au revoir. Because we will be back tomorrow to discover who will join Serena at the top table of the champions' dinner. Either Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka will be sat there. See you then!

As you now know that is Serena Williams's 20th Grand Slam win and strengthening her second place in the women's singles chart during the Open Era. She is now just two behind Steffi Graf's record....

Steffi Graf (22)

Serena Williams (20)

Chris Evert (18)

Martina Navratilova (18)

Serena Williams with the French Open trophy
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Serena Williams has smiled more in the past 10 minutes than she has done in the past two days. Those sickness blues seems just a distant memory as the 33-year-old American grins for a variety of poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen. The flashbulb lights of the press pack are going ten to the dozen.

Wonder if Lucie Safarova practised a winning speech? If she did then she might be able to recycle the best bits tomorrow.

That's because the Czech has another shot at Roland Garros silverware when she contest the women's doubles title.

Safarova and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands came through a two-hour-10-minute semi-final against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka yesterday, and face Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova in the showpiece.

Serena Williams gets another chance to show off her more-than-passable French.

It is a dream for her, it is a magnificent occasion, congratulations to Lucie, which way is the swimming pool. You know the drill...

Serena Williams
Reuters

Runner-up Lucie Safarova talking to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier: "Most importantly I had such great support from you fans. It is a great pleasure playing here and I promise I will work harder to get even better. Merci Paris!"

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Ben Dalton: Congratulations Serena Williams. Such a strong woman, so deserving of her success. One of the biggest stars in sport

Ayo Obit: What a Champion! 20 major titles! She will go for the SerenaSlam Mark II at @Wimbledon next month.

Lanre Adeola: Serena is fond of two things: Giving hope to her opponents and dashing it while it's highest; and giving her fans blood pressure.

Runner-up Lucie Safarova talking to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier: "It has been a great two weeks here for me - so many emotions and great wins. Serena - you were amazing today, you're a great fighter, so congratulations."

Serena Williams is up and she hoists the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen aloft to a soundtrack of epic strings. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou claps away with a smile plastered over his chops, a star-spangled banner bobs up and down high in the cheap seats and now a French crowd stands for the American national anthem.

They don't do this lightly over there.

Serena Williams with the trophy
Getty Images

Martina Navratilova has come down to present the prizes and a reverential hush falls as some highlights from her two French Open titles, in 1982 and 1984, play out on the big screen.

First up is the runner-up Lucie Safarova...

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova

Ooh la la! Paris is reputedly the city of love - and Serena Williams is feeling all slushy as she speaks to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"I'd like to thank all my friends. It has been a dream for me. Thank you everyone for all your support. I love you, I love you, I love you," gushes the 33-year-old American.

Russell Fuller

BBC tennis correspondent on Radio 5 live

"The gap between Serena Williams and the rest - even when she is playing at 80%, even with 34 years on the clock - is frightening at times."

Serena Williams
Reuters

Williams wins French Open

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova

After taking the acclaim of Court Philippe Chatrier, Serena Williams gallops over to her box. The American's coach - and boyfriend - Patrick Mouratoglou is ready with open arms to give the champion a warm embrace.

Defeated Lucie Safarova sits ashen-faced on her chair, contemplating what might have been.

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on BBC Radio 5 live:

"What a great match from both players but Serena has come out as a true champion, fighting back from 2-0 down in the third. It has been a tremendous tournament for Lucie Safarova though."

Game, set and match - Williams

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 Safarova

All over! Serena Williams drops her racket and points both arms up to the Paris sky as her 20th Grand Slam title is confirmed.

The American was a break down in this decisive set, but shows all her experience to bounce back and crowbar her way into three championship points.

The first goes begging when Safarova digs deep with a thumping serve. But the plucky Czech's resistance does not last much longer, swatting a forehand return into the net.

Serena Williams upon winning the French Open
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Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 5-2 Safarova*

Miles Maclagan

Former coach to Andy Murray and Laura Robson on BBC Radio 5 live

"There have been so many twists and turns from 4-1 Williams in second set. Lucie Safarova found some form playing with real abandon from that situation, but it was unlikely that she could keep that up across the third set as well. She has to hold serve next."

Alistair Bruce-Ball

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

"Here is a stat for you, Lucie Safarova is attempting to win a Grand Slam title for the first time in 40 appearances at the big four events. Marion Bartoli's win at Wimbledon 2013 was in her 47th Grand Slam, Jana Novotna's debut success at 1998 Wimbledon was in her 45th Grand Slam. But Safarova is next on the list. If she can win here..."

Lucie Safarova
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Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 5-2 Safarova*

If Williams holds this serve then she is just one game from the match. Again.

The pressure builds at 30-30. Williams knows she needs to produce with this next delivery. And she does! A big serve from the American cannot be returned by Safarova, who then clubs a weary forehand into the net on the decisive point.

Safarova must hold here or her hopes of a maiden Slam win will go up in smoke...

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Adam Poots: Serena Williams is not winning any fans here. Her attitude is a real disappointment.

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on BBC Radio 5 live:

"Serena is urging herself to stay focussed. She knows she has had this chance before and wasted it. She has to do better this time around."

Serena Williams
Getty Images

Williams breaks

*Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 4-2 Safarova

Another Williams yelp means one thing - her tennis is improving. Safarova blows another 30-0 lead as Williams stretches this one out into deuce. The American nicks advantage before the 13th seed skittles a backhand wide - cue another loud Williams shriek. And another stern look in her direction from the umpire.

British doubles player Jamie Murray on Twitter: "Never understood why the female players continue to stand on baseline to return Williams serve. Equivalent of Andy doing same against Isner. Take steps back and give yourself more time to return the ball into play. More returns made = more chances to win more points."

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 3-2 Safarova*

Williams is going nuts at herself - shouting, screaming and swearing as she cajoles herself into action. The funny thing is that her anger increases when she wins the point. Four winning points without reply means she is about to explode as she trots over to her seat at the change. And that earns her a quiet word in the ear from the umpire for her troubles...

Serena Williams
EPA

Williams breaks

*Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 2-2 Safarova

Williams has been the Harry Houdini of this year's Roland Garros, producing four escapology acts on her way to the final. Time for another in the match which matters the most?

Safarova leads 30-0 before Williams decides it is time to bring her A game back to the party. A wonderful sweeping backhand creeps past Safarova to set up break point, which the Czech coughs up with a double fault. A clear sign of nerves....

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 1-2 Safarova*

This is more like the Serena Williams that we all know. The powerful American responds to that early break with a routine hold to love. Boy, did she need that one....

Serena Williams
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Matt on text: Safarova winning hearts and minds with a strong performance but Serena is too good and will prevail...I think?

*Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 0-2 Safarova

Lucie Safarova is flying! The 13th seed is causing all sorts of problems for the world number one, who is tripping over a pile of errors. Williams has no reply to the Czech, who holds her serve to the delight of the Chatrier crowd.

Safarova breaks

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 0-1 Safarova*

Safarova might look a picture of concentration but she must be delighted inside to be still out on Court Philippe Chatrier at 16:50 local time. An hour ago she must have thought she would have been heading to Charles De Gaulle Airport in a taxi right about now.

Williams coasts into a 30-0 lead but conspires to toss the game in Safarova's favour with a pair of unforced error and a - yep, you've guessed it - double fault.

Safarova leaps into the air when Williams prods a backhand wide - the Czech leads in this final for the first time!

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 0-0 Safarova

Remarkably Safarova's comeback means that the French Open women's singles final goes to a third set for only the third time in 15 years. Williams to serve first....

Serena Williams serves at the French Open
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David Rowberry: Just when you think this match was going through the motions, Safarova throws in a curveball. Great tennis!

Jack O'Regan: Safarova? Should be called Safar-doesn'tknowwhenit's-over. Am I right?

Leigh Baldwin: Best Ladies Final I have seen in any of the Grand Slams for ages Lucie Safarova is a true fighter

Alexander J Green: Yes! Well done Lucie!

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) Safarova

Phew! If, like me, you need a moment to catch your breath back then this is it. Both players sit in their chairs - Williams almost slumped - wearing stony expressions.

Safarova, playing her first major final remember, shows the resilience of a Slam-winning veteran to shock Williams. The Paris crowd wanted more and now they've got their wish....

Lucie Safarova celebrates winning the set
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Safarova wins second set

Williams 6-3 6-7 (2-7) Safarova

Four set points and it only needs one. A popping serve out wide and Serena Williams buries her return into the gauze.

From a set and a double break down, Safarova has a shot at one of the great comebacks.

Williams 6-3 6-6 (2-6) Safarova

Two serves for Safarova to take this final into a third set. Here's the first...and she wins it. Williams goes long with a scrabbling forehand - Safarova is one point away from levelling....

Williams 6-3 6-6 (2-5) Safarova

Serena Williams lands with her first serve, extraordinary defence from Lucie Safarova, Serena Williams surely though with an easy, high bounce on the baseline. No! Williams hooks an easy backhand wide to give away the point.

Serena Williams gives away another point
Reuters

Williams 6-3 6-6 (2-4) Safarova

Williams needs a big serve - and that's what the American gets. Safarova sticks her strings in the way of a Williams bullet, but can't direct the ball to safety.

Williams 6-3 6-6 (1-4) Safarova

Now then Lucie Safarova - big serve out wide - Serena Williams hooks a return back. Wide! Just!

Lucie Safarova
Reuters

Williams 6-3 6-6 (1-3) Safarova

Safarova has ball in hand - this is the Czech's chance to put some distance between her and Williams. A wonderful rally eschews, ending when a rogue backhand from Safarova finds the tramlines.

Tie-break

Williams 6-3 6-6 (0-3) Safarova

The wheels are coming off the Williams express train. A tame backhand into the net and Safarova has a double mini-break and a 3-0 lead. Two Safarova serves to come...

Williams 6-3 6-6 (0-2) Safarova

Mini-break to Safarova! That's because Williams shoots herself in the foot again, with a seventh double fault of the match. Unbelievable.

Lucie Safarova
AP