Serena Williams Needs Three Sets to Reach Roland Garros Third Round
(June 2, 2021) No. 7 seed and three-time Roland Garros winner Serena Williams needed three sets to advance to the third round of the French Open on Wednesday when she stopped No. 174 Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
The 23-time major winner said that she’s been working on her serve: “But I’ve been practicing my serve a lot. I’ve been playing in practice unbelievable on my serve. The other night was, wow. I’m glad it came better today.”
“My coach told me it’s good that I’m doing it well in practice because eventually it will be good in the match.”
“I knew going into the third, I just had to zero in on those important points,” Williams said after the match. “If I could just take those, it would be an easier time for me.”
Next up for Williams is fellow American Danielle Collins, who demolished Anhelina Kalinina 6-0, 6-2 in 62 minutes. Collins, recently back from surgery, reached the quarterfinals last year.
Last year Williams withdrew from the tournament before her third-round match due to an Achilles injury.
Williams’ sister Venus who lost in the first round of the singles, also fell in the doubles on Wednesday. She and her new partner Coco Gauff lost to the 13 seed Ellen Perez and Zheng Saisai 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. It was the first time at a major that Venus did not play doubles with her sister.
Second seed Daniil Medvedev has now won his second match at the French Open. The Russian recovered from losing the opening set to eliminate American Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 during the night session. Coming into this year’s Roland Garros, Medvedev was 0-4 at the tournament.
Medvedev will play American Reilly Opelka, who is seeded 32nd.
Opelka who has reached the last 32 for the first time won 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 over Jaume Munar.
It was a good day for other Americans, too – No. 23 Madison Keys, No. 31 John Isner, and unseeded players Steve Johnson and Marco Giron.
This marks the first time that four U.S. men have reached the third round since six made it in 1996.
Other seeds advancing were No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas who defeated Pedro Martinez of Spain 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev beat longtime friend Roman Safiullin 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (1).
Japan’s Kei Nishikori rallied for a five-set win over no. 23 seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Upsets on the day included Henri Laaksonen who stopped 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win. It’s the Swiss’ first trip to the third round of a major tournament.
Tenth seeded Swiss player Belinda Bencic lost to 6-2, 6-2 to Daria Kasatkina in the second round.