French Open 2018: Serena Williams battles past Ashleigh Barty

French Open 2018: Serena Williams battles past Ashleigh Barty

French Open 2018: Serena Williams battles past Ashleigh Barty

First thing's first, the 36-year-old is into the third round of Roland Garros after a three-set win over world No. 17 Ashleigh Barty, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Paris: For all that has changed in the 16 months since Serena Williams last played in a Grand Slam tournament - she is now married and a mother - so much was familiar about her at the French Open on Tuesday. "I just didn't make any shots", Williams said after the match, as per BBC. She next plays 16th-seeded Elise Mertens, who 6-3, 6-1 against No. 24 Daria Gavrilova.

"I lost the first set, and I thought, 'I've got to try harder".

"I will be back tomorrow to play doubles with Venus".

Williams had cruised through her opening-round match against Kristyna Pliskova in what was a record 317th win at the Grand Slams. "It's because I want to get home to see Olympia, because I have been here all day".

Next for Williams is a third-round match against 11th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany.

Despite the temperature in Paris reaching 25C (77F), Williams kept her cool in her catsuit, and also said the sleek black number by sponsor Nike had aided her with preventing blood clots - something she has suffered with seriously in the past.

"It's not a typical outfit". "But sometimes it's not what it takes to win a match, and I think you have to kind of take care of your service games, and I have to serve better than I have been and take care of the return".

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Williams, who returned to tennis in March, was asked about her chances at Roland Garros - a tournament she last won in 2015. I'm always living in a fantasy world.

"However, my outfit is actually functional for me, because I had a lot of health issues".

After beating Pliskova, she said: "This was my match to win".

"Catsuit anyone? For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy-here you go".

But Williams drew on her unrivalled fighting qualities - and energy reserves some doubted she still possesses at nearly 37 and eight months into motherhood - to stave off Australia's 17th seed after one hour and 46 minutes.

Williams hit just three winners in the opener, while 22-year-old Barty could afford to bide her time: just two winners and four unforced errors.

Pliskova had an early break in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead but Williams broke straight back.

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