Serena unimpressed with early struggles

Serena Williams admitted she was just pleased still to be in the French Open after struggling to shake off Swiss youngster Stefanie Voegele in the first round today.

Serena Williams admitted she was just pleased still to be in the French Open after struggling to shake off Swiss youngster Stefanie Voegele in the first round today.

Top seed Williams was given an unexpectedly-tough time by the 20-year-old world number 76, although she has struggled with injury since clinching the Australian Open in January.

And the American certainly did not have things all her own way on Philippe Chatrier this afternoon, particularly in the first set, but she did enough to come through 7-6 (7/2) 6-2.

She said of her performance: “I definitely didn’t feel good about it. At least I won. I think I’m still in the tournament; that’s what matters.”

Asked what had displeased her, Williams added: “Across the board.”

Voegele was the better player for much of the opening set but it was the world number one who stepped up her game when it mattered in the tie-break.

The second set began in the same fashion but Williams forged ahead with successive breaks before serving out the victory.

Williams will face Germany’s Julia Goerges in the second round.

She said of her next opponent: “I hit with a German, so I expect him to know her game very well.”

Third seed Caroline Wozniacki had no such problems dispatching of Alla Kudryavtseva to reach round two, where she will play Tathiana Garbin.

Wozniacki showed no sign of the ankle injury that forced her to retire from the quarter-finals of the Warsaw Open last week in winning 6-0 6-3.

She said: “It feels much better today – I felt really good, actually.”

Wozniacki admitted she would have preferred to have taken time off ahead of Roland Garros, but said: “There are some rules on the WTA Tour, and we have to follow those rules.

“Maybe it would have been better if I could have taken a few weeks off, but those are the rules, and I did what I had to do.”

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