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French Open: Serena Williams comes from behind to reach second round


By Jonathan Jurejko

BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Serena Williams

Serena Williams has won the French Open singles title three times
2019 French Open
Venue:Roland Garros, ParisDates:26 May-9 June
Coverage:Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Serena Williams survived a scare as she fought back to beat Russian world number 83 Vitalia Diatchenko in the French Open first round.

American Williams, who has been battling injury, showed rustiness in a poor first set filled with loose shots.

But the 23-time Grand Slam champion found her rhythm to claim 12 of the final 13 games and win 2-6 6-1 6-0 at Roland Garros in Paris.

Williams, 37, faces Japan’s Kurumi Nara or Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic next.

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The catsuit was banned – so what did she wear?

Williams was banned from wearing the black catsuit outfit she donned at last year’s French Open, with the tournament introducing a stricter dress code.

She said the outfit made her feel like a “superhero” and that it helped with the issue of blood clots, which she said almost cost her her life giving birth.

She answered the ‘what will she wear?’ question when she arrived on Philippe Chatrier wearing a black-and-white-striped cape emblazoned with the words ‘champion’, ‘mother’, ‘queen’ and ‘goddess’.

That was just for the warm-up, after which she revealed an abstract outfit in the same colours, which looked like floating shorts and a crop top but which also had a mesh panel around the torso.

Even then she was not finished with the outfit changes, later pulling on a – remarkably plain – long-sleeved top.

More to follow.

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