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French Open: Serena Williams reaches final despite illness

French Open

Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 24 May - 7 June

Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentaries on every Andy Murray match and other key matches.

Serena Williams fought back to beat Timea Bacsinszky and reach the French Open final despite struggling with illness.

The top seed took 10 games in a row to win 4-6 6-3 6-0 and set up a final against Lucie Safarova on Saturday.

Williams, 33, has been unwell throughout the tournament and struggled as temperatures soared in Paris.

"I don't think I've ever been this sick," Williams told ESPN. "I didn't expect to win that, I really didn't."

She added: "I got the flu after my third-round match and I've been really struggling ever since then. Hopefully this is the worst and I'll get better from here.

"I thought, 'If I'm going to lose, I'm going to go for winners.'

"The next thing I know it was a set all and I thought, 'I really don't feel like playing a third set.' I was so tired. I just fought for every point and here I am."

The American world number one, who pulled out of her post-match media commitments, is trying to win her third French Open and 20th Grand Slam singles title.

Earlier on Court Philippe Chatrier, 13th seed Safarova fought back to beat Serbia's Ana Ivanovic and become the first Czech woman to reach a Roland Garros final in 34 years.

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

"Williams clearly did not feel well, but at times still managed to play more convincingly than she has done in many of her earlier matches.

"It can't have been a pleasant experience, but one sprint across the baseline late in the match to unleash a forehand cross-court passing winner will live long in the memory."

Williams claimed her fourth victory in this tournament from a set down, something she has never managed before at a Grand Slam.

She looked down and out for the first set and a half against Bacsinszky, with the Swiss 23rd seed showing no nerves on her major semi-final debut.

Williams, meanwhile, wrapped herself in ice towels at the changeovers, shuffled slowly between points and looked close to breaking down at times.

Bacsinszky, 25, cracked a backhand return winner to go 3-2 up and served out the set, before moving a break up in the second after converting her sixth break point.