Serena Williams is one step closer to history as she mounted a comeback to advance to Round 3 of the French Open with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 17 seed Ashleigh Barty at Roland Garros today.
Williams, 36, who was unranked in this tournament, has won five French Open titles from 1999 to 2015, including three singles and two doubles titles with sister, Venus.
The French Open is her first major tournament since giving birth to Alexis Olympia 18 months ago. Williams is one Grand Slam away from tying Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles. Her opponent today isn’t counting her out.
“I think when push came to shove, the real Serena came out,” Barty, 22, from Australia told reporters. “That’s one of her best assets is when her back is against the wall, the best comes out. And that happened early in the second and early in the third again.”
In other tennis news, 13th seed Madison Keys sailed through her third-round match today against Japanese Naomi Osaka, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7), while fellow American Sloan Stephens, seeded 10th, plays Italy’s Camila Giorgi today after easily advancing to Round 3.
Frances Tiafoe, the janitor’s son who nearly beat Roger Federer in the first round of Wimbledon last year, was knocked out in the first round by fellow American Sam Querry, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6). France’s Gael Monfils advanced to the second round where he plays 8th-seeded David Goffin from Belgium today.