In her first appearance in a major since her 2017 Australian Open triumph, Serena dismissed Kristyna Pliskova, whose sister remains the last player to have beaten the greatest player of all time according to Roger Federer in a Slam. Competing as a mom for the first time at a major, and only about nine months since giving birth to her daughter, Williams beat 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 at Roland Garros.
It was the two-time French Open champion's first match on clay since 2016.
After losing to her sister Venus Williams in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open and to Naomi Osaka in the first round of the Miami Open, Williams chose to focus on training instead of playing more tournaments.
Gavrilova, the women's 24th seed, battled back from a set and a service break down to defeat Romanian Sorana Cirstea 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in a niggly encounter on Tuesday.
"I think it's an extremely tough question", she said.
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It was a tight contest between the two big servers with the 23-time major victor bouncing back from 3-0 down in the tie-break to take the first set.
After the match, Williams spoke about life as a working mother.
Serena Williams of the United States of America in action at the French Open. "What she's done to be able to get back, along with Vika (Azarenka) as well, and a lot of the other girls who are coming back after pregnancy, is a pretty awesome thing".
Williams, 36, said that after delivering a child: "First and foremost, you have to get your core back, which is hard, because it literally spreads when you have a baby".
"I did everything possible with my team to get us in a position to be able to play today". I think Serena is also in a very different place and just what an opportunity.
Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward Florida Panhandle
Gulf Coast were largely empty Sunday as a slowly intensifying storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approached. As the center of Alberto pulls north and slightly west, the tail is forecast to swing toward South Florida.
In one of four all-country match-ups in the opening round of Roland Garros, Angelique Kerber won the 14th straight match against German players. But already, after one match, she looked a lot more like the Serena of old.
"So it is definitely a little functionality to it".
Next up for the three-times champion is Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty.
Also, the suit makes her feel like a superhero. "I have been wearing trousers in general a lot when I play so I can keep, you know, the blood circulation going".
USA states declare emergency ahead of subtropical storm
Steady weakening is expected after landfall, and Alberto is forecast to become a tropical depression Monday night or Tuesday . Authorities in Florida's Franklin and Taylor counties issued mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of coastal residents.