Serena Williams had to scrape out a place in the second round of the French Open on Monday as night play finally arrived at the last Grand Slam holdout against matches after dark.

Williams managed to defeat Romania’s Irina Begu 7-6(6), 6-2 as the inevitable scheduling quirk landed, almost throwing out the 65-minute opening set.

French Open Day 2 31/05/2021 Serena Williams (USA) struggled to win first set in first round match against Irina-Camelia-Begu (ROU) Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

The American led 5-2 but found herself caught up 5-all before Begu was broken while serving for the set.

As the contest riddled with six service breaks hit the decider, Williams had to save two set points before finally taking it on her own first chance after winning the final four points.

The seventh-seeded Williams got away to 3-1 in the second set and completed her comeback with two breaks in the second set.


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