Serena Williams Wins First Grand Slam Match After Returning from Pregnancy

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Serena Williams will be favourite for a fourth French Open title if she survives into the second week, former men's champion Jim Courier believes.

Williams conceded she was unable to fully gauge her level in her first major championship outing in 16 months against the big-serving Czech, such was the soaring ace tally and lack of extended rallies in their first-round tussle.

Look, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone betting against Serena doing the unexpected because she's done it so often in her career', Courier told Reuters on Wednesday. We'll see how Barty feels with a full match under her belt. "I have been putting a lot of work in on the court, off the court, on the court, on the court, off the court - that's kind of been my life". So there is definitely a little functionality to it.

In an Instagram following the match, Williams dedicated her first time back on the court to all the moms out there.

She added: "I'm always living in a fantasy world. It's a fun suit, but it's also functional so I'm able to play without any problems".

Williams then trailed 0/3 before eventually taking the set when Pliskova, who had never won a match at the tournament in three previous visits, put a forehand wide.

Barty needed just 64 minutes to live up to her first-time seeding at Roland Garros, while also showing no signs of the back problem that had her in doubt for the clay-court major.

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"I have been wearing trousers a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going".

"I actually breast fed for a really, really, really long time, and so I just had this real connection with my daughter".

Queensland's Barty and grand slam titan Williams, contesting her first tournament since childbirth a year ago, will square off for a place in the third round. And it's good for her, because it's hard for her to play with better players and everybody needs to be challenged as much as possible to improve.

The temperature hit 25C in Paris but it did not seem to affect the 23-time major victor in her first Grand Slam match since giving birth last September.

"All the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in the middle of everything. She's so young, I don't really bring her".

Williams next will face Australian Ashleigh Barty, who is the 17th seed.

"There were a couple of rain delays so I wasn't able to [see her]". I think Serena is also in a very different place and just what an opportunity.