Paris: Serena Williams made a winning return to Grand Slam tennis which was as memorable as her body-hugging black catsuit when she reached the Roland Garros second round on Tuesday. The 36-year-old downed Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to register her first victory at the majors since her 2017 Australian Open triumph. “I missed Roland Garros so much, I missed the battle,” Williams, the 2002, 2013 and 2015 champion in Paris, said after playing her first clay court match since finishing runner-up to Garbine Muguruza in the 2016 final on the same Philippe Chatrier Court.
“I couldn’t play last year. I had a baby but I am so happy to be back. It’s been two years since I played here. It wasn’t easy but I have been training really hard. I feel good and just so happy to be back here,” she said. Williams, the winner of an Open era record 23 Grand Slam titles, had arrived at Roland Garros with just four matches under her belt in 2018. The last time she had been spotted on a court was in a first-round loss to Naomi Osaka in Miami in March.