Serena goes 3 sets to reach 3rd round in Paris

PARIS — Serena Williams is back in the third round at the French Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion beat 174th-ranked Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 on Wednesday.

At last year’s tournament, which was moved to a September start because of the pandemic, Williams retired before her second-round match with an Achilles injury.

Williams has won the French Open three times — in 2002, 2013 and 2015.

Williams next faces fellow American Danielle Collins, who overwhelmed Anhelina Kalinina 6-0, 6-2 in 62 minutes.

Collins reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last year.

Also in the women’s draw, 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova reached the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 win over wild-card entry Harmony Tan. Earlier, 10th-seeded Belinda Bencic’s campaign at Roland Garros ended with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Daria Kasatkina, and Katerina Siniakova saved two match points to oust 29th-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 (7), 5-7, 7-5.

Ahead of the French Open, Siniakova made a deep run in Parma, where she upset the top-seeded Williams.

Bencic struggled with her serve throughout and was broken four times by her Russian rival. The Swiss player has never progressed past the third round at the French Open in five appearances.

Kasatkina made it to the quarterfinals in Paris in 2018, but it’s the first time this season that she has won consecutive matches on clay.

Also advancing to the third round were 15th-seeded Victoria Azarenka and No. 33 seed Paula Badosa.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report

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