'Numbers don't lie': Sharapova ponders Serena challenge at French Open

Serena Williams

Williams came from behind to emerge victorious 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a battle against 17th seed Ashleigh Barty to secure a third round meeting against 11th seed Julia Goerges.

Despite many unforced errors in the first set, the American feels she didn't play that bad, but, was pleased she was able to bounce back in what was a much tougher test for her.

But the 23-times major champion looked reasonably assured in her opening win against Czech Kristina Pliskova and fellow American Courier thinks she can only get better.

Maria Sharapova lost six games in a row and then won the next six as she got her return to Roland Garros off to a successful start.

Williams again played in her striking all-black catsuit which has raised some questions over its legality.

But Williams, who married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in mid-November following the birth of their daughter, said she is keen to have another child, and soon.

"I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, [a] queen from Wakanda", Williams said on the Tennis Channel.

"It's not a typical outfit". Who makes the rules?

"So no one really knows about it, but now that we have that platform and now that we are talking about it, I am vocal about it".

She added: "I'm always living in a fantasy world".

"However, my outfit is actually functional for me, because I had a lot of health issues".

The first glimpse of Williams as she prepared for her comeback came in an exhibition in December against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. "You know, all I want is to go out there, compete, and win", she said.

But Williams drew on her unrivalled fighting qualities - and energy reserves some doubted she still possesses at nearly 37 and eight months into motherhood - to stave off Australia's 17th seed after one hour and 46 minutes.

The Russian, victor in Paris in 2012 and 2014, is seeded at a major for the first time since testing positive for meldonium two years ago.

Williams battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the tie-break to take the first set. But I had all the right ideas, like coming to the net and hitting all my shots. Pliskova has led the WTA in aces the past three seasons - and is No. 2 in that category this year - but managed only one on Saturday.

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