WTA Roland Garros: Serena Williams ousts Diatchenko with a powerful finish

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WTA Roland Garros: Serena Williams ousts Diatchenko with a powerful finish

Twenty-one years after making a debut at Roland Garros, the three-time champion Serena Williams is still hungry for success, defeating Vitalia Diatchenko 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 in an hour and 30 minutes. The 64th triumph in Paris for the 23-time Grand Slam champion came after a slow start, needing some time to find the 'A game' and everything worked well after the opening set, claiming 12 of the last 13 games to dismiss the Russian and make a winning start.

Serena had 22 winners but also 24 unforced errors, trying to keep the points on her racquet and halting Vitalia on just ten winners and 25 mistakes, unable to draw Williams away from the comfort zone and never stand a chance in sets two and three.

Serena stole almost half of the return points, breaking Diatchenko four times from ten opportunities and dropping only nine points behind the initial shot in sets she won to race towards the finish line and the place in round two.

Vitalia was the dominant figure in the opening set, winning five games in a row for a 6-2 and a big step towards a massive upset against the rival who played only four tournaments before heading to Paris. A forehand return winner from Serena in the second game of the second set changed the course of the match, breaking to gain the lead and never looking back by the end of the encounter.

Diatchenko sprayed a backhand error in game six to suffer another break and Serena secured the set on own serve in the next game to set up a decider after only an hour. There, she had the upper hand from start to finish, taking all six games and sealing the deal with nine straight games for the best possible closure and the place in the next round.