TENNIS: US STAR WOMAN SERENA WILLIAMS SURVIVES SCARE TO REACH THIRD ROUND IN ROLAND GAROS CHAMPIONSHIP IN PARIS, FRANCE
PARIS – Serena Williams survived a scare to extend her latest bid for an elusive 24th Grand Slam singles title with a three-set victory over Mihaela Buzarnescu on Wednesday, while men’s fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also reached the French Open third round.
The 39-year-old Williams, who has been one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record of most major trophies since 2017, brushed off a second-set blip to win 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
The American, seeded seventh, will play compatriot Danielle Collins for a last-16 berth as she looks for a fourth French Open crown, but first since 2015.
“It was good competition, she was playing well and I was playing well,” said the former world number one, who has withdrawn injured mid-tournament on two of her last three visits to Roland Garros.
Williams has already seen two of her likeliest title rivals either fail to start the tournament or pull out in unprecedented circumstances.
World number three Simona Halep, who defeated Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final, withdrew before the event with injury.
The biggest story of the week so far has been world number two Naomi Osaka’s shock withdrawal after a press boycott, saying she has been suffering with “bouts of depression” since her breakthrough triumph over Williams in the controversial 2018 US Open showpiece match.
Williams started well on Wednesday with a comfortable opening set, but paid for missing seven of eight break points in the second as world number 174 Buzarnescu forced a decider.
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