New mum Serena back in the Grand Slam groove in Paris

Croatia's Marin Cilic clenches his fist after scoring a point against Australia's James Duckworth during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris France Tuesday

PARIS-Playing her first tournament match since March, Serena Williams is back at the French Open-and she's playing a lot better than anyone could expect.

Another former champion coming back to Roland Garros, Maria Sharapova, also advanced as did perennial men's victor Rafael Nadal as early rain in Paris gave way to sunshine.

The suit also contains a message that Williams wanted to send about self-worth as she returns to grand slam action with a first-round victory at Roland Garros on Tuesday, about nine months after giving birth to a daughter. Making her eighth main draw appearance at Roland Garros (and ninth appearance overall), after her maiden major quarter-final reached a year ago, Garcia salvaged a slim chance of ascending to World No.1 this fortnight: she would need to win the title with Wozniacki not reaching R16, Halep losing before the semis and Muguruza going out before the final.

Everything in her life has changed since her last Grand Slam appearance except her aura, undimmed by absence. "It's a fun suit, but it's also functional", she said. "I thought she was moving quite well".

She said: "Oh, there was no beer pong".

"Serena will play the French Open to win it", he said. "It's been two years since I played on clay". Now, she looks like one, too.

Pliskova had an early break in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead but Williams broke straight back. In 2016, Nadal withdrew with an injured left wrist after a pair of easy victories, then claimed every set he played previous year en route to the trophy.

Williams, 36, has her own line of Nike tennis wear. "But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams".

"I think we raised some real money", she laughed before making her way to the exit, stopping for selfies and to sign autographs for an appreciative French crowd.

Williams then trailed 0/3 before eventually taking the set when Pliskova, who had never won a match at the tournament in three previous visits, put a forehand wide.

Neither player had been broken until that point with world No. 70 Pliskova refusing to be unnerved by her star opponent, firing down 10 aces in a tightly contested opener. She was spotty at times, especially on her serve (she hit seven double faults).

"I'm a super hands-on mom".

There are no artificial lights at Roland Garros and organizers figured there might not be enough sunlight to get the women's match started, let alone finished, on Tuesday.

In the end, her daring fashion statement ended up causing more comment than anything else.

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