Serena Williams improved over the course of her 7-6(6) 6-2 win over Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round of the French Open on Monday night.
Williams relied on her experience as her mobility held her back a little against her fleet-footed opponent, and it was clear that she was not at the top of her game at her first service opportunity.
With a first serve success of just a touch over 50% to her opponent’s 70%, Williams had to put more effort into chasing down her own points.
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However, that did not stop her taking the first set to a tie-break after winning four of seven break points offered up by Begu, which she was able to wrap up after showing her trademark grit to fend off set points.
Williams opened up the second set by breaking her opponent and immediately putting the pressure on the Romanian.
Begu fought hard to stay in contention, but failed to capitalise on pushing her opponent to a lengthy deuce in the sixth game before being broken again.
Williams, who is looking for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, completed the win with a hold to 15 but on this showing will have to improve if she is not to suffer an early exit.
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Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title at his favourite event and 2020 Roland Garros sensation Iga Swiatek aiming to replicate her stunning triumph.
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