Serena Williams e ka nisur me fitore aventurën e saj në grand slemin e Roland Garros, duke mundur 2-0 polaken Krystina Pliskova (7-6, 6-4). Kjo ishte ndeshja e parë e tenistes amerikane në një grand slem pas 16 muajsh, që kur pat fituar grand slemin e Australian Open të vitit të kaluar. Dhe emocionet për ish-numrin 1 në botë kanë qenë të mëdha, që ka vuajtur disi në setin e parë të fituar në “tie break”, por në fund ia ka dalë mbanë të mposhtë rivalen.
Në turin e dytë ka avancuar një tjetër teniste që ka qenë numri 1, ajo gjermane Angelique Kerber, që mundi 2-0 (6-2, 6-3) Mona Barthel, ndërsa tenistja franceze Caroline Garcia eliminoi Wingwing Duan, duke fituar 2-0 (6-1, 6-0). Për shkak të errësirës, ndeshja e tenistes rumune Simona Halep, kryesuesja e renditjes botërore, është shtyrë për nesër.
Te meshkujt, një biletë për në raundin tjetër, në ndeshjet e mbrëmjes, ka prerë tenisti gjerman Mischa Zverev, që mundi patriotin e tij Florian Mayer. Fiton me përmbysje me shifrat 3-1 argjentinasi Juan Martin Del Potro, që eliminoi Niclas Mahut (1-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4). Ndeshjet e radhës do të vijojnë nesër në fushat me dhè të Parisit.
Dressed in a skintight, all-in-one black bodysuit, broken up by a vivid scarlet belt, Serena captivated the French crowd from the start of the contest to its 7-6(4) 6-4 conclusion. “Two years has been a really long time,” she told the crowd in French, referring to her last match on clay. “I am just so happy to have won a match here… thank you all.”
The last time the American had appeared in a Grand Slam tournament was at the Australian Open in 2017, when she won it while pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia.
Williams has spoken about health concerns over blood clots in the days after giving birth, and on Tuesday said: “Yeah, 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 … So it is definitely a little functionality to it. I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play so I can keep, you know, the blood circulation going. It’s a fun suit, but it’s also functional so I can be able to play without any problems.”
But in the data that counts, Serena is a giant of the tennis court. Her haul of 23 Grand Slam singles crowns beats Steffi Graf’s total by one, and is just one shy of Margaret Court’s record 24.
Next up for the three-times champion is Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty. It won’t be an encounter Barty will relish. She could be considered the most unlucky of seeds in a Grand Slam, for there can never have been a more dangerous floater in the draw.
Williams is now sporting her own superhero outfit as she makes her return to Grand Slam tennis. “I call it like my Wakanda-inspired catsuit. It’s really fun,” the American laughed, referencing the fictional Sub-Saharan African nation which is home to superhero Black Panther in Marvel Comics. “I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, queen from Wakanda maybe … I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero. I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”