Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova win in French Open

Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova win in French Open

Arriving on Philippe Chatrier Court in a black catsuit, offset with a pinkish-red waistband, Williams trailed 0/3 in the first-set tiebreaker.

The three-time champion donned a black catsuit for her return to the Paris clay, describing it afterwards as "Wakanda-inspired".

The new outfit also was reminiscent of the tight-fitting white bodysuit that American player Anne White wore at Wimbledon in 1985.

The 36-year-old American had not played in one of tennis's biggest tournaments since the Australian Open in January 2017, when she won her 23rd Grand Slam title. "I have been wearing trousers in general a lot when I play so I can keep, you know, the blood circulation going". She backed out of the recent Madrid and Rome tournaments, saying she didn't think she was ready to play.

Having been off the tour to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian in September, many in the sport wondered if Williams would still be a contender at the majors especially with her ranking at 451.

Pliskova, ranked 70th in the world, said she expected Williams would not play as well as she did - the Czech player out-aced Williams - but the 23-time Grand Slam victor proved to be a tough opponent as usual.

Serena Williams had every reason to feel like a "superhero" on Tuesday.

As she served for the match, she slipped into the net, righting herself sporting an embarrassed smile.

On Monday, Williams kicked off the French Open with a win, defeating the Czech Republic's Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets.

"We all know how I feel about the cold shoulders", Williams tells The Post of last year's beloved shoulder cutout trend. I want her to know that I put her first in my life.

"And, yeah, today is one of those days where, regardless of the statistics, how I felt on court, it doesn't matter - we've got an opportunity to come out here a couple days time in round two". "I feel good and just so happy to be back here". "So it is definitely a little functionality to it".

Pliskova, ranked 70 in the world, says she was nervous at the start of the match and credits her serve for keeping her in the contest.

"I'm concerned how that's going to work out for me, because normally in Grand Slams I do spend a lot of time at the site".

Serena needed a few games to find her rhythm but managed to hold off Pliskova's challenge, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Muguruza, who claimed the title in Paris two years ago, advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 win.

Williams will face Australia's Ashleigh Barty in the next round, and will be hoping to draw on the same powers bestowed by her new catsuit.

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