Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | ePaper

Serena Williams struggles to 800th victory

  • Print




Serena Williams admitted the 'mother, champion, queen, goddess' logo which adorned her Roland Garros outfit on Monday was "a lot to carry, but so is being Serena".
The 37-year-old American survived a first-set scare before defeating Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 to reach the second round.
But as she struggled to impose herself on her 83rd-ranked opponent, it looked like her dazzling choice of costume for the occasion might come back to haunt her.
The legend of 'mother, champion, queen, goddess' was written in French in a nod to her hosts.
Once the cape was removed, Williams revealed a black and white zebra-stripe print dress, split at one thigh.
Last year, Williams fell foul of Roland Garros with her one-piece Black Panther outfit which was subsequently banned.
"It was just to remind everyone that they can be champions and are queens. So I love that about it," she said of her 2019 dress and cape.
"Yeah. It is a lot to carry, but so is being Serena Williams."
The American, who is attempting to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles, racked up her 800th career main draw win with her victory in front of a half-full Court Philippe Chatrier.
After dropping the first set, she was in danger of suffering just the second opening round defeat of her Grand Slam tournament career.
But normal service was quickly resumed as she racked up 12 of the last 13 games.
"You know, I have been dealing with a lot, and then I just got nervous out there and I stopped moving my feet.
"There were like concrete blocks on my feet. I was, like, 'You gotta do something'."
Williams, the 2002, 2013 and 2015 champion in Paris, will face either Japan's Kurumi Nara or Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia for a place in the last 32, after their match was suspended at one-set-all overnight.
Williams won her most recent major at the Australian Open in 2017 while pregnant.
She returned to Grand Slam tennis after giving birth to her daughter at Roland Garros in 2018, making the last 16 where she had been set to resume her bitter rivalry with Maria Sharapova.
An arm injury torpedoed that meeting and stalled her assault on a fourth title in Paris. Defeat in the 2018 Wimbledon final and US Open championship match, where her now-infamous meltdown overshadowed Naomi Osaka's title triumph, followed her Paris heartbreak.
Her Australian Open campaign in January ended in a quarter-final loss to Karolina Pliskova despite having led 5-1 in the final set and holding four match points.
Since Melbourne, Williams had been unable to finish the three tournaments she had entered - retiring in the third round of Indian Wells and withdrawing after winning a round in Miami, and after winning one round in Rome due to a right knee injury.

More News For this Category

New Zealand's players celebrate after winning the Netball World Cup final match against Australia at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England on Sunday.

New Zealand's players celebrate after winning the Netball World Cup final match against Australia at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England on Sunday.

China's Xie Zhenye breaks Asian men's 200m record in London

China's Xie Zhenye broke the Asian men's 200 meters record as he won the title at the IAAF Diamond League here on Sunday. Xie, who won the event at the

Lowry weathers storm to win British Open and first major

Lowry weathers storm to win British Open and first major

Ireland's Shane Lowry withstood howling wind and rain to win his first major at the British Open by six shots from Tommy Fleetwood on Sunday, describing the achievement as "an

The pack with France's Julian Alaphilippe wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey rides during the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 185 kilometers (114,95 miles) with start in Limoux and finish in Prat d'Albis, France on Sunday.

The pack with France's Julian Alaphilippe wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey rides during the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 185 kilometers (114,95 miles) with start in Limoux and finish in Prat d'Albis, France on Sunday.

Fraser-Pryce beats Asher-Smith to win 100m in London

Fraser-Pryce beats Asher-Smith to win 100m in London

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce cruised to victory against home star Dina Asher-Smith in the women's 100 metres at the London Anniversary Games on Sunday, crossing the line in a time of 10.78

Volleyball team off to Tehran

The Bangladesh national volleyball team, which left for Iranian capital of Tehran early Monday (1.40 am), touched down safely this morning with a aim to take part higher training as

Swimmers 'don't trust' Sun as doping row boils over

Swimmers 'don't trust' Sun as doping row boils over

AFP, Gwangju :World championship swimmers slammed China's Sun Yang over lurid doping allegations and said competitors were firmly behind Australia's Mack Horton, who snubbed the Olympic star on the podium.America's

General Secretary of Bangladesh Amateur Wrestling Federation Tabiur Rahman speaking at a press conference at Dhaka Metropolis Football League Committee conference room in the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Amateur Wrestling Federation Tabiur Rahman speaking at a press conference at Dhaka Metropolis Football League Committee conference room in the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday.

.

Clanton, Suwannapura win LPGA Tour team event

Clanton, Suwannapura win LPGA Tour team event

AP, Midland :Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura ran away with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on Saturday, shooting an 11-under 59 in best-ball play for a six-stroke victory.Clanton

Yang Jian wins men's 10-meter platform title

Yang Jian wins men's 10-meter platform title

AP, Gwangju :Yang Jian won the men's 10-meter platform title at the world championships on Saturday as China took another diving gold.Yang Jian totaled 598.65 points to finish ahead