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Serena Williams Wins First Grand Slam Tennis Match Since Giving Birth

Serena Williams Wins First Grand Slam Tennis Match Since Giving Birth

Williams made her return to the Roland Garros courts in a skintight black catsuit, saying she does so for a couple reasons.

But Serena finally emerged with the lead to get ahead 4-3, and she held onto that lead to finish the 73rd main draw match at Roland Garros - the most matches played here in Paris amongst active players.

Williams, who has been out for more than a year after discovering she was pregnant just before the 2017 Australian Open.

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. She won 80% of her first serve points. 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.

She played deliberately, showing little emotion early on other than an occasional sigh and double take at the net when it foiled her intentions.

On the men's side, Rafael Nadal narrowly avoided dropping a set at the French Open for the first time in three years and finished off a rain-interrupted 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) victory over 129th-ranked Simone Bolelli of Italy.

There also is a message she wanted to send about self-worth and feeling powerful as she returned to Grand Slam action with a first-round victory at Roland Garros on Tuesday, about nine months after giving birth to a daughter.

"I feel like I'm on the right track, " Williams said.

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"A lot of people have really reached out, because they have so many similar stories, too, " she said.

'I'm very happy, ' said Williams.

Barty faces the daunting prospect of playing Williams in the second round.

Gavrilova breathed a sigh of relief after staging a tense fightback to break her French Open first-round jinx. She wore a skin-tight, all black Nike catsuit that brought to mind the skin tight catsuit she wore at the 2002 U.S. Open.

Williams referred to what she wore Tuesday as the "catsuit - the new version, 2.0".

Because she missed so much time, Williams is ranked 451st after being No. 1 for much of the previous years, including when she took leave in February 2017. "He wrote, 'I grew up watching tennis with my Mom's best friend and why I consider you my all time favorite athlete. I have been wearing trousers in general a lot when I play so I can keep, you know, the blood circulation going".

'I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of awesome women and kids.

"In the beginning, it was hard to learn [Olympia's] nap schedules, even though she's never on schedule, but at least I know that for certain parts of the day I'm spending all that time with her, because I don't want her to ever feel like I'm not around", Williams said.


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