Serena slams door on Pliskova in French Open return

Serena Williams won in her first Grand Slam match in 16 months and served up a statement or two in the process at the French Open on Tuesday.

Williams knocked off Kristyna Pliskova with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 decision on Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the second round and set up a meeting with 17th-seeded Australian Ashleigh Barty. Barty was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over NataliaVikhlyantsev.

Williams turned heads when she hit the court at Roland Garros with a superhero-looking black Nike bodysuit with a red waistband.

It was her first appearance at a major since the 2017 Australian Open, where Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title.

“All the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in a middle of everything … that’s what this represents,” Williams said. “You can’t beat a cat suit, right?”

Due to her prolonged absence from tennis, Williams was not seeded at the French Open and entered with a world ranking of 453.

In other action Tuesday, Maria Sharapova won her first French Open match since 2015 with a three-set victory over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Garbine Muguruza beat 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (0), 6-2 to reach the second round.

–Field Level Media

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