Serena back in business as Nadal, Sharapova survive scares

Croatia's Marin Cilic clenches his fist after scoring a point against Australia's James Duckworth during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris France Tuesday

Croatia's Marin Cilic clenches his fist after scoring a point against Australia's James Duckworth during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris France Tuesday

A marvel on the tennis court, new mum Serena Williams is now sporting her own superhero outfit as she makes her return to grand slam tennis.

The 36-year-old downed Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (4), 6-4 as she played in her first Major since the 2017 Australian Open where she triumphed.

Serena Williams, unseeded in her return to Grand Slam play after giving birth past year, defeated Kristyna Pliskova, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

Two-time champion Sharapova survived a serious scare to claim a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp, ranked 130, in her first French Open match since 2015.

The American insisted it was "fun as well as functional" in a nod to the severe health problems she suffered after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September.

No.11 seed Julia Goerges reached the second round of the French Open and completed her 258th career win by beating No.32 Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 5-7, 6-0.

In the women's draw, two-time Grand Slam victor Garbine Muguruza is back to winning ways after beating Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, another former Roland Garros champion.

Pliskova is the twin sister of number six seed Karolina, a solid player but not as good as her sibling and someone who has never won a match at Roland Garros before.

He quickly levelled at 3-3 on Tuesday, saved four break points in the eighth game before saving four set points in the breaker.

Pliskova had an early break in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead but Williams broke straight back.

Barthel, the last countrywoman to beat Goerges, in 2013, looked subdued against the higher-ranked opponent, bidding to reach at least the quarterfinal, equalling her best result here, in the only Slam where she hasn't reached the final.

She is. And more accurately, "The Mother is Back".

"I don't want her to ever feel like I'm not around".

A reporter wanted to know whether Williams believes she can win the title again.

"The catsuit, I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don't know how many I have had in the past 12 months", she said.

ASH Barty is plotting Serena Williams' French Open downfall after the comeback queens steamed into a Roland Garros blockbuster. That she is now ranked 451 in the WTA rankings is an irrelevance - more pertinent is that she finished 2017 ranked 22, having played only two events all year.

'I'm very happy, ' said Williams. "What she's done to be able to get back.is a pretty unbelievable thing".

But having been bedridden for six weeks after suffering a series of complications, including a pulmonary embolism that led to multiple surgeries, Williams is only too aware of what she had to overcome to get herself ready for Paris.

"It was really exciting to see so much African-American culture impacted in the wedding", she said. But there was no slip in her game as she closed it on her second match point.

Serena has still much to do on her return to Roland Garros.

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