October 20, 2021

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Serena Williams through despite a poor start in Paris

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Sixth seed Serena Williams battled sluggish conditions to defeat fellow American Kristie Ahn 7-6 (2), 6-0 to open her campaign at the French Open on Monday.

Playing against an opponent she defeated at the same stage at the US Open less than a month ago, Williams found herself trailing twice in the opening set at the Court Philippe Chatrier but rallied each time to force a tiebreaker.

Williams, who has won three of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at Roland Garros, raised her level in the tiebreaker and did not look back from there, handing the 102nd-ranked Ahn a bagel in the second set.

The 39-year-old had to dig deep to find a way to win points in the cold and heavy conditions and needed five match points to seal the victory and set up a second round meeting against Tsvetana Pironkova, who earlier beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3

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