Serena Williams through in straight sets against Collins

Serena Williams progressed to the fourth round of Roland-Garros at the expense of fellow American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-4 on Friday afternoon.

Serena Williams, Roland-Garros 2021

Serena Williams faced another tough test at the French Open on Friday, but she passed it with flying colors. Williams turned in a solid performance — with more winners (22) than unforced errors (20) — while advancing after one hour and 25 minutes on Friday.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who needed three sets to get past Mihaela Buzarnescu in round two, appeared to be headed for another decider in this all-American clash. After taking the opening frame thanks to just a single break, Williams promptly fell behind 4-1 in the second. However, a one-break deficit was by no means too daunting for the No 7 seed. She reeled off seven games in a row to race past Collins and clinch victory.

“That felt really good for me,” Williams said of the second-set turnaround. “Things were not going my way. It’s not like she gave me those games. I had to earn it and turn it around. That was really positive for me going into the next match.

“Was it my best match of the week? I don’t know. I felt that I needed to be really focused way a lot in this match because she’s playing really well. I’ve had a rough clay court season thus far, so I’m happy to get some wins on the clay.”

“I’D LOVE TO SEE HER WIN THE WHOLE THING”

“t was a bit disappointing after being up 4-1,” Collins lamented. “I think Serena played some really great tennis to come back. I don’t think I played my best in those moments. I just have to try to learn from it, hopefully do better next time and be able to close out the set.

“I was really proud of myself for being able to win two matches here. I’m happy with how I did here, but obviously I would have liked to have done a little bit better.”

Nonetheless, the 27-year-old will still be paying attention to the tournament.

“That’s exactly what I told her,” Collins said when asked if she would like to see Williams take the title. “I said I’d love to see her win the whole thing and I’d be supporting her. I mean, she’s the greatest player of all time. I think we all admire and love Serena, especially the American players. I mean, it was pretty surreal today to go out there and be playing against somebody I remember watching at age nine and 10, playing here, to be here, to be sharing that court with her, this experience.

“I hope that I can be a steppingstone to her winning another slam. It would be really exciting and cool. I’m going to be following every point.”

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