PARIS (AP) — Yulia Putintseva knows the odds are stacked against her as she prepares to face Serena Williams in the French Open quarterfinals Thursday.
“She’s a legend,” Putintseva said of the top-ranked American. “I have nothing to lose, obviously, against her. I’m just going to go and play. What else can I do?”
The 21-year-old Putintseva, ranked 60th, is an outsider, to say the least.
— Williams has 70 career titles; she has none.
— Williams has amassed around $76 million in career prize money, while Putintseva is close to making her first million.
— Williams is chasing her 22nd major championship, which would tie her with Steffi Graf in the Open era and move her within two of Margaret Court’s all-time record. But this is Putintseva’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal, and she had never previously advanced past the third round at any major.
The 34-year-old Williams beat her in their two previous meetings: in the third round at Indian Wells this year and in the second round of the Madrid Masters in 2013.
The matches followed the same pattern. She pushed Williams to a tiebreaker in the first set and got routed…