Serena Williams steps out in 'Wakanda' uniform at French Open
30 May, 2018, 05:30 | Author: Tommie Newton
Serena Williams went for a striking cat suit look as she returned to Grand Slam action with victory in the first round of the French Open Tuesday.
Williams destroyed Barty for the loss of just three games in their only previous encounter, in the first round of the 2014 Australian Open.
The 36-year-old downed Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to register her first victory at the majors since her 2017 Australian Open triumph.
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.
Barty, just 17 then and prior to an 18-month hiatus from tennis, has since established herself in the world's top 20 - and Williams is super wary of the threat the Australian poses. The younger of the Williams sister, who lost in the first round at Grand Slam level only once in 2012, when the defeat against Virginie Razzano persuaded her to start a brand new partnership with Patrick Mouratoglou, gave Pliskova the fourth first-round defeat in as many appearances here. I have been really enjoying it. She backed out of the recent Madrid and Rome tournaments, saying she didn't think she was ready to play. Despite five fewer winners, 29 to 34, Serena committed 25 unforced errors to 34 and completed the match winning 80% of her first serve points. "It's great to be in this draw and great to be back on a court that I have had great success at".
"She's playing unbelievable, and she's had such an incredible year last year and this year as well", said the three-times French Open champion and former world No.1.
After a 90-minute rain interruption at 5-5 in the first set Muguruza, the 2016 victor, blew 2009 champion Kuznetsova away in the tie break and went on to win 7-6 (7-0) 6-2. "I feel good and just so happy to be back here".
An increasingly unpredictable set saw Williams break again, the third break in a row and fifth in the set overall.
"Forgotten how Serena is hated by the Roland Garros crowds?" Now, she looks like one, too. She's ranked No. 451 coming into the French Open. "It's been a really long time but I trained really hard on the clay".
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