French Open: Serena Overcomes Slow Start To Progress

Serena Williams overcame a challenging first set to beat Kristie Ahn 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 and progress into the second round of the French Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, playing in her first match on clay this season, found the going tough in the first set as she battled with her serve and surprisingly notched up 28 unforced errors.

Williams turned it on when she needed to in the tie-break, and then used her frustration to hold her fellow American, who she also beat in the first round of the US Open earlier this month, to love in the second set.

She will face another one of her US Open opponents in the second round, Tsvetana Pironkova, after the Bulgarian beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3. Williams, who like many other players was wrapped up with a number of layers, took less than a minute to secure her opening service game. However, that was not indicative of the road ahead and, instead of flying through on serve, she found herself being continually tested and pushed.

Of the two Americans, it was Ahn who was striking through the ball and using her power, while Williams missed the mark. The 39-year-old’s regular unforced errors disrupted her flow and she converted just two of the eight break points she created.

With her wealth of experience, the three-time French Open champion was able to flick the switch in the tie-break, though, and duly turned the tables on her opponent.

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