Sanchez Vicario likes 'beatable' Williams' chances in Paris
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 01, 2016 10:17 AM
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates winning the third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against France's Kristina Mladenovic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Saturday, May 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS (AP) — Three-time French Open champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario's pick to take home the title from Roland Garros this year?
Says Sanchez Vicario: "I think she's the favorite to win. She's always the favorite."
That doesn't mean it's a lock, though.
"Definitely she is a human being," Sanchez Vicario added Tuesday, when she was announced at Roland Garros as an ambassador for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, "so she's beatable. ... At other tournaments that people (didn't) expect her to lose, she lost."
That includes each of the past two Grand Slam events, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open, leaving Williams at 21 major titles, one shy of Steffi Graf's Open-era record.
Sanchez Vicario, whose final tournament came when she played doubles with Martina Navratilova at the 2005 French Open, calls the pursuit of that mark "motivation" for Williams.
As for whether Williams or Graf was the superior player — and she faced both of them — Sanchez Vicario didn't want to say.
"Both (had) a lot of success. Which one is better? That's a question I leave up to you," she told reporters.
Sanchez Vicario named Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep as the women she thinks are most likely to win the French Open this year if Williams does not.
Asked to predict which women will qualify for the eight-player field at this year's WTA Finals on Oct. 23-30, Sanchez Vicario listed — in no particular order — Williams, Halep, Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska, Carla Suarez Navarro and Timea Bacsinszky.