Serena Williams maintains an apartment in Paris, and it won't be long before she's laying in supplies (in Hello Kitty boxes, no doubt) for what she plans to be a two-week stay in the City of Lights. In Charleston, she ran over 2010 French Open runner-up Sam Stosur, then beat Lucie Safarova for the title, and today in Madrid, she held the trophy after emphatically beating world number 1 Victoria Azarenka.
Williams defeated Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 in just over an hour, and at one point, a frustrated Azarenka beat her racquet on the ground, causing it to fly up and almost hit her. Williams served extremely well, hitting 14 aces, and Azarenka's second serve just wasn't good enough to give her opponent much trouble. Williams hit 26 winners and made only 11 unforced errors.
Serena Williams has won the French Open only once, in 2002, when she beat her sister, Venus, in the final. The clay in France is going to play slower than the clay in Charleston and Madrid, which should give Williams' potential opponents some hope. Stosur, Li Na and--if she could ever get in form again--Petra Kvitova are all capable of giving Williams trouble at the French Open. All three of those players are streaky, though, and right now, it's hard to imagine that any of them has the confidence that Williams has.
The clay season now shifts to Rome, where Azarenka and Maria Sharapova (Williams defeated her soundly in Madrid, too) are seeded first and second, respectively.