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Sport Serena Williams recovers from wobbly start to progress at French Open

02:00  29 september  2020
02:00  29 september  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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French Open Venue: Roland Garros , Paris Date: 23 May-6 June Coverage: Live video streamed from 1000 BST on BBC Sport website (UK only) Top seed Serena Williams needed medical treatment before beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 1-6 6-2 to reach the last 16 of the French Open in Paris.

Serena Williams began her search for her record-equaling 24th Grand Slam with a challenging win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the first round of the French Open .

a woman holding a microphone: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

With a sore achilles tendon and amid unusually slow conditions, Serena Williams looks like an upset waiting to happen at this year’s French Open. Yet after a wobbly start on Monday, she was safely through to the second round — joining Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

The autumnal cold slightly abated on day two and Williams, who came through 7-6, 6-0 against American compatriot Kirstie Ahn, resisted the temptation to copy many others here and alter her racket to combat the frigid temperatures.

French Open 2020 live stream: how to watch Grand Slam tennis for free

  French Open 2020 live stream: how to watch Grand Slam tennis for free Watch all the action at Roland-Garros without paying a dime..Tennis fans in the UK and Ireland can watch the 2020 French Open free. All the action will be shown live on ITV4 and streamed live on the ITV Hub. Not in the UK at the time of the tennis? Don't forget you can use a VPN to access the French Open if you're travelling outside the UK.

Serena Williams survived a briefly wretched opening to the French Open and, despite recovering well to trounce the world No 83, Vitalia Diatchenko, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0, she is yet to convince her peers and rivals she can last a tournament, let alone rediscover the magic that lifted her to 23 grand slam titles.

Serena Williams avoided a major upset by beating Vitalia Diatchenko in three sets in the French Open first roundCredit: Getty Images - Getty. That solitary defeat came in the opening round of the 2012 French Open when she was dumped out unexpectedly by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

With the heavy balls moving sluggishly through the air, a lot of players have reduced the tension in their strings by at least 15 per cent to give themselves more power, which generally comes at the expense of feel and control.

a person holding a microphone: Serena Williams overcame a sore achilles tendon and the unusually slow conditions © Provided by Daily Mail Serena Williams overcame a sore achilles tendon and the unusually slow conditions

It is a more significant feature in coping with the environment than the winter body warmers that abound.

‘They are all strung the same,’ said Williams of her rackets as she set out on her latest quest to win a 24th Grand Slam. ‘I was just changing them with the new balls, which is something I never do. My coach wanted me to do that because it’s clay and I’m using a lot more spin than I normally do.’

This is the least likely place for her to win a major, especially after turning 39 at the weekend.

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Serena Williams admitted she goes into the French Open still nursing an Achilles problem but with a positive mindset as she continues her pursuit of a 24th Share or comment on this article: Serena Williams hoping to recover from Achilles issue to compete for 24th Grand Slam at French Open .

Photos: Nadal, Djokovic, Serena at Roland Garros . Serena Williams hits a forehand in her A roar and stomp of the foot after making one error at the start of the second set might have sparked the Assuming Williams adequately recovers physically, it is difficult to envisage either Kurumi Nara or

a close up of a person holding a ball: Rafael Nadal made his entrance with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Egor Gerasimov on Monday © Provided by Daily Mail Rafael Nadal made his entrance with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Egor Gerasimov on Monday

‘I just need to play with more confidence, like I’m Serena,’ she added. ‘I love the clay and I started playing like it, opening the court and moving and sliding.’

Nadal made his entrance with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, which was a less demanding test than that faced by new US Open champion Dominic Thiem. The Austrian overcame another former New York winner, Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 but dismissed suggestions that Nadal can’t be expected to win his 13th French Open this fortnight.

‘For me, he’s the huge favourite here,’ said Thiem. ‘Obviously it’s a lot of different things going on this year with way less crowd, with the tournament going on three or four months later. It’s cold conditions. But with his name and with his past here at the tournament, he’s still the favourite.’

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Williams does not yet look comfortable moving. There is plenty of discussion from the Eurosport commentators about the achilles injury she This does not happen often: Kristia Ahn was drawn against Serena Williams in the first round of the US Open . One month later, they’ re back again in the

Vitalia Diatchenko gave a good account of herself but ultimately could not last the pace against Serena Williams at the French Open .

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French Open 2020 live stream: how to watch Roland-Garros tennis for free .
Watch all the action at Roland-Garros without paying a dimeTennis fans in the UK and Ireland can watch the 2020 French Open free. All the action will be shown live on ITV4 and live streamed on the ITV Hub. It's also available on Eurosport in 4K HDR. Not in the UK at the time of the tennis? Don't forget you can use a VPN to access the French Open if you're travelling outside the UK.

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