No rest for Serena Williams after she unleashes old ‘Serena’

Serena Williams had to show her fighting spirit to reach the third round of the French Open and she admits “Serena came out” when she looked down and out.

Playing in her first Grand Slam since giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia in September, Williams found herself in deep trouble against Ashleigh Barty as the Australian won the opening set and was a break up in the second.

However, the 23-time Grand Slam winner rallied to secure a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

“It’s just incredible,” the American, who won’t have an off day on Friday as she will team up with sister Venus in the doubles, said after the match.

“I am so happy to be back here. I lost the first set and thought I must try harder, I must try harder – and then Serena came out.

“I will be back tomorrow to play doubles with Venus. I don’t mind playing singles and doubles – I will fight my heart out.”

She added: “This is my first Grand Slam back and I want to the best that I can.

“I want to be able to one day tell my daughter that I tried my best.”

The French Open is just her third tournament since giving birth as she also played in the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open in March, and she feels she is starting to improve game by game.

She is not one of the favourites to win the title at Roland Garros this year, but you can always compare Freebet tennis odds.

“I felt like in the first set I didn’t play bad. I just didn’t make any shots…but I had all the right ideas like coming to the net and hitting all my shots. They just weren’t going in,” she said.

“For me, that was kind of like a positive thing, because it wasn’t like I was playing the ultimate match. I was just making so many errors. I was like, ‘I’ve got to cut down on the errors, and I’ve just got to come out here and fight.’

“That’s what I did. I have definitely always had that will to win. It was something I was born with, thank goodness…This is a Grand Slam. This is my first one back. I want to do the best that I can.”