Serena Williams says she’ll get to work on the practice court after surviving a scare in her first round clash at the French Open in Paris.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion dropped the opening set against Russian world number 83 Vitalia Diatchenko after an error-strewn performance.
The 37-year-old American found her rhythm to claim 12 of the final 13 games and win 2-6 6-1 6-0 at Roland Garros. Williams was content to battle to victory and vowed to get better as the tournament goes on.
“There is always a lot of fear for a first-round match,” Williams said.
“I made lots of mistakes in the first set and I just said ‘good luck, Serena’. I was strong after that. Now I feel like I need to go and practice.”
Williams is 17.00 to win the French Open title. There was no such opportunity for former Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki after the Dane lost out against world number 68 Veronika Kudermetova.
Wozniacki didn’t drop a game in taking the first set but that was as good as things would get. The 13th seed lost 0-6 6-3 6-3 and felt luck went against her before she ‘ran out of steam’.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” the 28-year-old former world number one said. “It hasn’t been a great year for me so far, so I’m going to work hard and try and turn it around.”
“I think she got very lucky at the start of the second set and took advantage of the opportunities she got,” Wozniacki added. “I ran out of steam in the end and made some unforced errors that I don’t usually do.”