Serena Williams in Paris to support a winning Venus but Petra Kvitova is out

Serena Williams  in Paris to support a winning Venus but Petra Kvitova is out

Serena Williams made her first appearance at the French Open to support sister Venus but Petra Kvitova's comeback tournament is over.

The two-time Wimbledon champion made an emotional return to tennis on Sunday with victory over Julia Boserup five months after she was stabbed by an intruder.

The result was secondary, with Kvitova and her doctors having feared she would never play professionally again, but the Czech was much closer to her best level than had been expected.

Kvitova looked in good shape again early on against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in round two but the American fought back to win 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/5).

Kvitova had led 3-1 in the opening set with points for 4-1 and a double break but Mattek-Sands dug in very well, saving 10 of 14 break points during the match.

The American, ranked 117, then recovered from 4-2 down to win the tie-break before taking a 10-minute break for treatment to her thigh.

Kvitova sat with her head in her towel, and the disruption seemed to affect her as she dropped serve in the opening game of the second set.

She pulled back level but was edged out in another tie-break, bouncing her racket in annoyance after serving a double fault on match point.

But Kvitova will leave Paris with far more positive feelings than negative and could yet be a major force on grass, her favourite surface.

Meanwhile, Serena continued her maternity leave tour of major sporting events by visiting the tournament she has won on three occasions.

The 35-year-old, who is expecting her first child in the autumn, was at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday before heading to Paris, where she has an apartment.

Serena cheered on Venus from the players' box on Court Philippe Chatrier, and there was plenty for the Williams family to celebrate as the 10th seed eased to a 6-3 6-1 win over Kurumi Nara.

It was not a good day, though, for Ekaterina Makarova, conqueror of top seed Angelique Kerber in round one but knocked out 6-2 6-2 by Lesia Tsurenko in round two.

Former US Open champion Sam Stosur did make it through to round two, the 23rd seed beating Kirsten Flipkens 6-2 7-6 (8/6).

More in this Section

'We were training in a sheep field with two generator lights''We were training in a sheep field with two generator lights'

Accrington salute Ipswich fans for Billy Kee solidarity bannerAccrington salute Ipswich fans for Billy Kee solidarity banner

Chris Sutton reacts angrily to dementia figuresChris Sutton reacts angrily to dementia figures

Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale earns new long-term contractBournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale earns new long-term contract


Lifestyle

Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner