'Superhero' Serena Williams wins on French Open return

by Leon Thompson June 1, 2018, 15:26
'Superhero' Serena Williams wins on French Open return

Serena recently launched her new HBO five-part documentary series, "Being Serena", which invites viewers into her life and struggles.

Williams is just getting back on to the court after giving birth to her daughter last September.

"I will be back tomorrow to play doubles with Venus". It wasn't easy but I have been training really hard.

"But, overall, I was definitely happy with my performance and how I played today".

Despite exercising before her return, Williams weighed 93.1 kg (205 lb).

The 19-year-old lefty, who is seeded 24th, needed just two hours to get past 59th-ranked John Millman of Australia, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.

Two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation was pushed to three sets in her return to this event following a two-year absence. After all, conventional wisdom is that the 23-time Grand Slam champion doesn't enter tournaments unless she thinks she has a chance to win.

However, her stay in Paris nearly proved short-lived until she summoned the same fighting spirit which helped her conquer life-threatening blood clots after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian in September. From a confidence point of view, this is big because it tells her that if she can hang in there long enough, her game will come back to her. And what a striking return it was, right down to the outfit - which called to mind the "catsuit" Williams wore at the 2002 US Open - and was paired with black high-top sneakers sprinkled with silver glitter. But then Serena roused herself into action in a way only she can.

Ashleigh Barty's courageous bid to end Serena Williams' grand slam comeback ended in a thrillling, three-set French Open defeat for the Australian No.1.

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The only consolation for Pliskova, the twin sister of world number six Karolina, was finishing with 15 aces, the most hit against Williams since such records began to be kept in 2008.

Pliskova also broke to tie the game at 3-3.

Serena can win despite not playing her best.

Nadal, bidding for an 11th title in Paris and his 17th major, next faces Argentina's Guido Pella for a place in the last 32.

Serena Williams said she wants to make her daughter proud after fighting back to reach the French Open third round on Thursday.

Williams may be short of match sharpness and the footwork is not quite there yet, but the 36-year-old's serve remains a formidable weapon as she took the first set after a tie-break.

Williams then took another break to work on her game, and that absence of more than two months ended Tuesday.

"She's a genuine champion".

Stosur earlier powered into the second round for the 12th straight year with a 6-2 6-4 victory over former US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer.

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