Surprising us all by wearing a black full-length bodysuit with a red waistband in her first match on clay since 2016, Serena Williams withstood a tough test against Kristyna Pliskova to advance to the second round of Roland Garros on her return to Grand Slam action after maternity leave.
The first set went with serve all the way to the tiebreak, in which Williams recovered from 0-3 by winning six consecutive points to eventually win the set in which players served as many as 17 aces, 10 coming off of Pliskova’s racquet.
The second set Pliskova opened with a love hold and followed it up by breaking Williams in a marathon second game, but in the third game Pliskova’s first double fault handed Williams a break, and even though Pliskova broke back to level the set to 3-3, Williams earned a crucial break in the seventh game that opened the door for her 7-6(4) 6-4 triumph.
Both players hit a lot of aces, actually, Pliskova’s total of 15 is the most any WTA player has hit against Williams since 2009.
Williams next will face Australian Ashleigh Barty, who is the 17th seed.
As for Williams’ choice of outfit, what do you say, could she have surprised us more? I actually did see this bodysuit in Nike’s sketches (shown above) prior to the tournament, but I thought those were leggings and a short-sleeved top, so I was pretty sure she would wear those for practice and choose the skirt + crop top option for matches, as I stated in my unveiling of NikeCourt looks. While I feel bad for wrongly predicting Serena’s French Open outfit, I’m so thrilled she confidently made such a bold fashion statement on her Grand Slam return. To wear a bodysuit, a black one — nobody expected that, and Serena pulled it off to perfection!
“Tough test” ??? I actually thought any aspiring college player could and would have done better than what KrisPlis did yesterday. It’s tough not to see the tactic necessary to beat a 500lb+ Serena; amazing KrisPlis was amateur enough to turn the match into a “serve and stare thereafter” match. And to see Mouratoglou et al rejoice in this “victory” was priceless…. Gime a break, that match was not professional level competitive sport, it was just pure marketing.