No.10 seed Serena Williams looked sharp in the second round of the French Open, dropping just five games to beat Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara.
WTA Staff
May 30, 2019

PARIS, France - No.10 seed Serena Williams enjoyed a much more comfortable second-round win at the French Open on Thursday, as she dispatched Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara, 6-3, 6-2.

It was a much cleaner performance from the 23-time major champion than in her opening round match, where she rallied from a set down to defeat Vitalia Diatchenko.

The No.10 seed struck eight aces and never faced a break point, and racked up a total of 34 winners to 21 unforced errors. 

"I think she was playing tennis the whole time, really good tennis the whole time," Williams said.

"She was just playing really tactical tennis, and I just had to play a little bit better."

Nara, a qualifier and former World No.32 currenly ranked outside the Top 200, played tidy tennis throughout the 67-minute encounter with 11 winners and just four unforced, but ultimately could not match the American at the baseline or on serve. 

The 27-year-old from Japan stayed even with Williams over the first six games, which included a marathon, nine-deuce hold of serve in which she saved six break points to level at 3-3.

From there, however, the 23-time Grand Slam champion found another gear, and captured the last three games to win the first set, and four of the first five of the second set to remain in command for the duration. 

"She's best player, for me," Nara said after the match. "Today I lost, but I'm very happy to play with Serena on center court. It's very special for me."

An all-American match is on the the cards for the No.10 seed in the third round, as she will face rising compatriot Sofia Kenin, who earned a spot in the round of 32 when Bianca Andreescu withdrew with a right shoulder injury on Thursday.

"I know her game really well. She had a really great run in Australia, and I have been watching her," said Williams.

"I think it will be a good match. She has a lot to bring to the table. She has a lot of excitement, and she's a good player. She's so young, and she's such a good player. I'm actually looking forward to that match."