Monday, May 25, 2020 | 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

China`s Wang Qiang enjoying time without professional tennis

China`s Wang Qiang enjoying time without professional tennis

Agency :Chinese tennis player Wang Qiang, world No.29 in women's singles, told media on Thursday that she is enjoying the days without professional tennis."To be honest, I feel quite

Drive to succeed: The endless golf dominance of South Korea's women

Drive to succeed: The endless golf dominance of South Korea's women

AFP :When South Korea's domestic women's golf tour held its premier event last week-without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic-no fewer than three of the world's top 10 players

Barca midfielder De Jong 'not ready to play yet'

Barca midfielder De Jong 'not ready to play yet'

Agency :Dutch international Frenkie de Jong said Thursday he was glad to resume training with Barcelona but is "not ready to play a game yet" after a two-month stoppage

Sri Lanka scraps $40mn cricket stadium on advice of top players

Sri Lanka scraps $40mn cricket stadium on advice of top players

AFP :Sri Lanka's prime minister Thursday scrapped plans for a $40 million cricket stadium after local legends of the game warned it would end up a white elephant.Former captains

Olympics official see 'real problems' in holding Games in 2021

Olympics official see 'real problems' in holding Games in 2021

AFP, Sydney  :A senior Olympics official has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces "real problems", with even a vaccine unlikely to stave off the threat

Surgical material removed from knee of Atletico's Vrsaljko

World Cup finalist and Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko went under the knife to remove surgical material left there in a previous operation, the Spanish club said Thursday.The 28-year-old

German women's league to resume May 29

The German women's championship will resume behind closed doors on May 29, the country's football federation (DFB) announced Wednesday, after a suspension of almost three months due to the

Belgium coach Martinez extends contract until 2022

Roberto Martinez has extended his contract as Belgium coach until 2022 to take him up to the World Cup in Qatar, the Belgian football federation announced Wednesday. The 46-year-old former

Williams sisters stretch it out with yoga treat for fans

Williams sisters stretch it out with yoga treat for fans

Serena Williams is looking forward to getting back to competing when the coronavirus pandemic permits it, in part because she's "feeling better than ever".Her older sister, Venus, is looking forward

Mushfiqur stands by wheel chair cricketers

Mushfiqur stands by wheel chair cricketers

Bangladesh wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim provided financial support to 50 wheel chair cricketers."Mushfiqur 'bhai' provided financial help to those who played international matches and represented national team," Captain of the