Safarova spurred on by French Open final defeat

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Lucie Safarova is hoping her run to the final of the French Open can lead to further success in the future and insists she has no regrets in her loss to Serena Williams.

Playing in her first grand slam final, Safarova put up a valiant effort in a 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 loss to world number one Williams - who collected her 20th major title.

Safarova appeared to be heading for a straight-sets defeat when she slipped 4-1 behind in the second, but the Czech bounced back brilliantly to give the Roland Garros fans the third set they craved.

It ultimately proved in vain as Williams shook off the effects of the illness that had clearly hampered her in the semi-final victory over Timea Bacsinszky to secure a third French Open crown, but Safarova is taking the positives from the loss.

"I hope this is just the beginning," she said. "I'm just enjoying it.

"People were really nice and I got so many nice messages and support. So I wish that will continue in the future tournaments and I will do my best to play the great tennis that I played here.

"I wouldn't regret anything. I was going for my shots, I was trying to mix it up, being aggressive and everything [but] she was just too good in the third set."

Williams is now halfway to a calendar Grand Slam having also won the Australian Open, and Safarova believes the American is capable of achieving the feat.

"She's a great player. She has obviously the experience. She won all those grand slams already," she added.

"I think she can do it. If she's on her best form and in great shape, she's playing the best tennis.

"I just couldn't find any weapon that could stop her. I was trying to mix up the serve, trying to mix up the rhythm, trying to go for risk shots. But when she was on, she was just serving amazing and going for the returns, pressuring me right away.

"It's just hard to do anything with that."


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