French Open 2021: Serena Williams reaches fourth round as draw opens up
French Open 2021: Serena Williams reaches the fourth round as the draw opens up. Serena Williams remains the highest seed in her half of the French Open draw. After a dominant third-round victory against Danielle Collins. The American seventh seed beat compatriot Collins 6-4 6-4 and will face Kazakhstan’s 21st seed Elena Rybakina next.
Williams, 39, is one of just four top 10 seeds left in the women’s draw after Aryna Sabalenka lost earlier on Friday. The Belarusian third seed was beaten 6-4 2-6 6-0 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Williams is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam triumphs. But has not made it past the fourth round at Roland Garros since 2016.
“That felt really good for me,” said Williams. “Things were not going my way. I had to earn it and turn it around. “That was really positive for me going into the next match.”
Williams recovers from second-set stutter to win
There was little to separate the two Americans in the open ing games. But characteristically powerful serving eventually put Williams in control.
The three-time French Open champion served five aces in the first set – work somewhat undone by two double faults. And an impressive cross-court volley earned her a break to go 4-3 up.
Williams held on from there to take the first set and was given a helping hand as 27-year-old Collins’ level dipped at the start of the second set, handing her an early break.
But double faults crept back in on Williams’ serve and as a result, she gave away two games to the world number 50. Who was playing her first tournament since undergoing surgery for endometriosis in April?
From 4-1 down, an increasingly fired-up Williams won the next five games to secure a fourth-round spot at a Grand Slam for the 64th time in her career.
Williams’ fourth-round opponent Rybakina claimed a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over Elena Vesnina earlier on Friday.
The American’s service will be put to the test against the 21-year-old. She herself hit 12 aces in the third round and did not face a single breakpoint.