Serena Surges Into Second Round

1 year ago
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World No.1 Serena Williams raced through the first match in her title defense at Roland Garros, dropping just two games to Magdalena Rybarikova.

PARIS, France – Top seed Serena Williams sailed through a day of upsets on Tuesday, defeating Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-2, 6-0, to advance into the second round of the French Open.

“It was a little short for me,” she said in her post-match press conference. “But I think in my career if I don’t have it by now I need to look into something different.”

After No.3 and No.5 seeds Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka were ousted earlier in the day, Williams arrived to Court Philippe Chatrier keen to restore order, and did just that against Rybarikova, who had played just once since reaching the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Sweeping through the match in 44 minutes, the World No.1 improved to 62-1 in Grand Slam first round matches, striking 25 winners to just five unforced errors, and breaking serve six times to set up a second round encounter with Teliana Pereira, who ended the day with a titanic 7-5, 3-6, 9-7 win over Kristyna Pliskova.

Playing her 15th French Open main draw, Williams admitted to being all too aware of how much time has passed since her 1998 debut.

“When they were introducing me, they were like, ‘The 15th time.’ I was like, ‘Wow, this is too many.’ It was a lot. I was thinking that’s a lot.

“But sometimes I do think about some players, and I’m like, ‘Wow, I played them and now they’re like coaching and they have grandkids, you know,'” she added with a laugh.

Joining elder sister Venus in the second round, the two will be back on court on Wednesday to play their opening round of doubles in the hopes of winning their first major title together since 2012.

“We haven’t been playing that much, and we haven’t been winning that much. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll do what we can. If anything, I can use it as a good practice match. Hopefully I won’t have a fit of laughter like I did in Rome, oh, my God!

“But actually, hopefully I will, because it’s fun when I laugh that much. We just have fun out there, and I’m always laughing at Venus.”

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