French Open: Serena Williams wins after 'nightmare 48 hours'

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Serena Williams celebrates her French Open triumph
Serena Williams takes a selfie with the French Open trophy after her three-set win
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentaries

Serena Williams feared she was too ill to play the night before her French Open final against Lucie Safarova.

The American, 33, won 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 to claim her third French Open and 20th Grand Slam title.

However, the sickness she had struggled with throughout the event almost ended her hopes on the eve of the final.

"It's been a nightmare 48 hours," said the world number one. "I kind of was in the locker room just laying down after my semi-final."

Serena Williams Grand Slam victories
Australian Open (6): 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015
French Open (3): 2002, 2013, 2015
Wimbledon (5): 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012
US Open (6): 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014

"I barely made it home. Took a hot shower. I went to bed, and then I didn't leave bed until like 4pm or 5pm yesterday.

"I was just thinking, 'I have to go for a walk. I've just got to go for a walk. This house is making me sick. I have to get out. I have to get some air.' Went for a walk. Came back. Got worse."

She added: "I even told the physio, 'I'm not sure I'm going to be able to play, because this is just not looking good.' I actually was really bad last night.

"And then they helped me out."

Champion Williams targeting Wimbledon

Once on court on Saturday, Williams made a superb start before letting Safarova into the match.

The American led 4-1, 40-15 but lost her cool as the Czech 13th seed fought back, and Williams was warned by the umpire for her language.

"I got so frustrated," she said. "I was just so angry at myself. I pretty much gave the match away.

"I think she played really well. But at the same time, I gave it to her. I started hitting double faults. I was really frustrated with myself.

"I just had to like try to pull it together."

Williams now holds three of the four major titles and can complete the set at Wimbledon, which would raise the possibility of achieving a calendar Grand Slam at the US Open.

"I think it will be awesome, but at the end of the day it's pretty awesome to have 20," said Williams.

"Obviously I would love to win a Grand Slam. I haven't done great at Wimbledon the past two years, so I'm going to take it a day at a time there.

"My goal is just to do better the last couple of years, do one more and one more and one more."