Serena ousts Barty from French Open

Serena Williams

Williams will place the No17 seed, Australia's Ashleigh Barty, in the second round.

Serena Williams won the Australian Open previous year in the early stages of pregnancy, and now following a traumatic pregnancy and the birth of baby Alexis Olympia, she's back in the game.

"I think people have to talk about it more because it's nearly like the fourth trimester, it's part of the pregnancy".

The potential third-round match-up with two-time Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova was the first thing she spotted when she looked at the draw.

Williams is now cruising through the opening stages of the French Open - and attracting attention for her "Black Panther"-style bodysuit, an outfit she said makes her feel "like a warrior princess" from Wakanda. I have to try harder.... and Serena came out!"

Williams has spoken about health concerns over blood clots in the days after giving birth, and on Tuesday said: "Yeah, the catsuit, I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don't know how many I have had in the past 12 months".

The veteran clay-court star plays 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza in a repeat of their semi-final two years ago after denying doubles partner Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 7-6 (7-1) earlier on Thursday.

Australian Barty broke the 23-time grand slam victor in the sixth game of the first set and, when she served out the set convincingly things looked ominous for Williams.

"I feel happier on court now to play matches, and also when I practice", she said. "I want to be able to do my best and one day tell my daughter that I tried my best".

Barty put up a stiff challenge, and really forced Serena out of her comfort zone with a mix of slices and topspin shots.

Serena Williams said she has made peace with the fact that she will never be a size 4.

A break in the 3rd game of the decider proved crucial and Williams, now ranked 451 in the world, claimed victory on a second match point with a sweeping, running forehand.

"I have definitely always had that will to win".

The two-time grand slam victor conceded she did not play her best, but says her focus is purely on racking up wins.

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