Serena Williams made a slow but successful start to her latest pursuit of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-0 win over Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.
World number 102 Ahn served for the opening set at 5-4 but Williams forced a tie-break she dominated before charging through the second set to book a clash with Tsvetana Pironkova for a spot in the last 32.
Czech seventh seed, Petra Kvitova and 15th seed, Kiki Bertens, are also through to the second round.
Kvitova beat Oceane Dodin 6-3 7-5 to breeze into the second round, while Bertens recovered from a poor start against debutant, Katarina Zavatska to reach the second round with a 2-6 6-2 6-0 victory.
“We never played each other before, not even in practice,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview.
“So, it was really tough from the beginning, but I found it hard because she plays very aggressive, her shots are similar to mine, so I was just trying to wait for the chance to break her serve.”
Kvitova, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2012, lost only two points in her service games in the opening set and broke Dodin in the eighth game to take the lead.
The 23-year-old Dodin, ranked 118th in the world, had not got past the first round of a Grand Slam event since 2017 and it looked like being a quick defeat at her home Grand Slam.
She found her feet, however, in the second set, which saw an early trade of service break before Kvitova raised her game to get the break in the 11th game and close in on victory.
The Czech, who missed last year’s tournament at Roland Garros due to an arm injury, sealed victory with a forehand volley for her 30th winner.
“In the second, she came back and really played much stronger and it was really tough in the end,” Kvitova said.