January 19, 2019

Serena routs Rybarikova in French open

US player Serena Williams returns the ball to Slovakia`s Magdalena Rybarikova during their women`s first round match at the French Open in Paris. Photo: AFP

Serena Williams began the defence of her French Open crown with a crushing 6-2, 6-0 win over Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova on Tuesday.
The world number one blasted 25 winners with just five unforced errors and broke the 77th-ranked Rybarikova six times to race into the second round.

“Yeah, it was a little short for me,” said Serena, after needing just 42 minutes to beat an opponent who has never been beyond round two at any Grand Slam.

“But I think in my career if I don’t have (enough time on court) by now I need to look into something different.”

Temperatures hovered around 15 degrees on a chilly Court Phillipe Chatrier, but the rain stayed away after lengthy weather delays wreaked havoc during the first two days of the tournament.

“It was warmer, I think, a couple matches before, but by the time I got out there, it was just really cold.

“I don’t like playing in cold weather. But everything felt pretty good, so it was okay.”

She will face Brazil’s Teliana Pereira or Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 32.

Meanwhile, her quest for a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title was handed a sizeable boost with third seed Angelique Kerber and fifth seed Victoria Azarenka, both in Serena’s half of the draw, exiting prematurely.

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