Call it a comeback: Williams to 3rd Rd at French Open

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June 1, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Serena Williams of the United States during her semifinal match against Maria Sharapova at the Wimbledon Championships in London on Thursday, July 9, 2015. Williams advanced, 6-2, 6-4. Corinne Dubreuil/Abaca Press/TNS

Tennis: French Open

PARIS (AP) — After playing so infrequently, it’s as if Serena Williams is starting from scratch.

Sure looked that way for a bit more than a half-hour in the French Open’s second round on Thursday, when she dealt with muscle soreness, a lack of verve and a bunch of mistakes. So many mistakes.

And then, suddenly, after unleashing one particularly powerful backhand return winner that she punctuated with a shout, Williams was back. She was animated. Determined. Dominant, even. Shaking off some rust in her first Grand Slam tournament since giving birth nine months ago, Williams recalibrated her shots and erased a deficit of a set and a break to beat 17th-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that ended shortly before dusk.

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