Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


‘Being Serena, it’s a lot to carry’: Williams struggles to 800th victory

Serena Williams reacts as she plays against Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko © AFP / Thomas SAMSON

PARIS, France, May 27 – Serena Williams admitted the ‘mother, champion, queen, goddess’ logo which adorned her Roland Garros outfit on Monday was “a lot to carry, but so is being Serena”.

The 37-year-old American survived a first-set scare before defeating Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 to reach the second round.

But as she struggled to impose herself on her 83rd-ranked opponent, it looked like her dazzling choice of costume for the occasion might come back to haunt her.

The legend of ‘mother, champion, queen, goddess’ was written in French in a nod to her hosts.

Once the cape was removed, Williams revealed a black and white zebra-stripe print dress, split at one thigh.

Last year, Williams fell foul of Roland Garros with her one-piece Black Panther outfit which was subsequently banned.

“It was just to remind everyone that they can be champions and are queens. So I love that about it,” she said of her 2019 dress and cape.

“Yeah. It is a lot to carry, but so is being Serena Williams.”

The American, who is attempting to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles, racked up her 800th career main draw win with her victory in front of a half-full Court Philippe Chatrier.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

After dropping the first set, she was in danger of suffering just the second opening round defeat of her Grand Slam tournament career.

But normal service was quickly resumed as she racked up 12 of the last 13 games.

“You know, I have been dealing with a lot, and then I just got nervous out there and I stopped moving my feet.

“There were like concrete blocks on my feet. I was, like, ‘You gotta do something’.”

Williams, the 2002, 2013 and 2015 champion in Paris, will face either Japan’s Kurumi Nara or Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia for a place in the last 32, after their match was suspended at one-set-all overnight.

Williams won her most recent major at the Australian Open in 2017 while pregnant.

She returned to Grand Slam tennis after giving birth to her daughter at Roland Garros in 2018, making the last 16 where she had been set to resume her bitter rivalry with Maria Sharapova.

An arm injury torpedoed that meeting and stalled her assault on a fourth title in Paris.

Defeat in the 2018 Wimbledon final and US Open championship match, where her now-infamous meltdown overshadowed Naomi Osaka’s title triumph, followed her Paris heartbreak.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Her Australian Open campaign in January ended in a quarter-final loss to Karolina Pliskova despite having led 5-1 in the final set and holding four match points.

Since Melbourne, Williams had been unable to finish the three tournaments she had entered — retiring in the third round of Indian Wells and withdrawing after winning a round in Miami, and after winning one round in Rome due to a right knee injury.


More on Capital Sports


NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...


NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon champion has been slapped with a four-year ban by the World Athletics Disciplinary...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved