French Open: Serena Williams reaches third round after beating Kurumi Nara

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Serena Williams won the French Open in 2002, 2013 and 2015
2019 French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 26 May-9 June
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Serena Williams cruised into the third round of the French Open with a straight-set victory over Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion beat 27-year-old Nara 6-3 6-2 in one hour seven minutes.

American 10th seed Williams, 37, is a three-time champion at Roland Garros.

She will play compatriot Sofia Kenin next after her opponent, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, withdrew with a shoulder injury.

The first set remained on serve for the first seven games, with world number 238 Nara proving a decent match for her opponent in the opening exchanges.

But Williams eventually broke Nara’s serve to move 5-3 ahead before serving out the set.

She dominated the second set, breaking Nara’s serve twice before serving out the match with an ace, having not dropped a point in the final game.

‘I’ll remember it forever’ – Williams inspires Anisimova, 17

Anisimova reached only the first round on her previous French Open appearance in 2017

Elsewhere, fellow American Amanda Anisimova reached the third round after beating 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 6-2.

She will next play Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, who defeated Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 1-6 6-3 6-4.

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At 17, Anisimova is the youngest American to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Williams in 1999.

“She’s done so much for the sport,” world number 51 Anisimova said of Williams.

“She’s a huge inspiration to me. I really look up to her. That’s just great to be achieving stuff similar to her.

“Actually when I had a tough loss at the Miami Open – it was a really long match and I was super upset in the locker room – Serena actually came up to me and we shared a little bit of a chat.

“That was really nice of her, and I’ll remember it forever.”

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