Serena Williams powers into French Open last 16

The 39-year-old Serena produced a calm and composed display to see off Danielle Collins and is now the highest-ranked player left in the bottom half.

Williams, seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, but first since 2017, will play Kazakhstan's 21st seed Elena Rybakina for a place in the quarter-finals.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Serena Williams powered confidently into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of fellow American Danielle Collins on Friday as the draw opened up enticingly.

The 39-year-old seventh seed produced a calm and composed display against a dangerous opponent and is now the highest-ranked player left in the bottom half.

Williams, seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, but first since 2017, will play Kazakhstan's 21st seed Elena Rybakina for a place in the quarter-finals.

READ: Zverev picks up momentum as he reaches fourth round of French Open

A hard-hitting contest featured 40 winners and the opening games included a barrage from both players with Collins clearly deciding her best policy was to fight fire with fire on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Collins saved three break points at 1-1 from 0-40 but found herself in trouble again at 3-3 and this time Williams angled away a volley after being dragged in by a dropshot.

Again Collins showed guts to save a set point at 3-5 and Williams then wobbled serving at 5-4 with consecutive double faults before recovering to seal the opener with an ace.

ALSO READ: Zidansek warming to the challenge in Paris

When Williams broke at the start of the second set it looked as though she might race away with the contest but 50th-ranked Collins found another gear to reel off four games in a row as the errors began creeping into the Williams's game.

Trailing 1-4 Williams responded by raising the decibel level, scolding herself even after winning points, and suddenly she began firing on all cylinders again.

The 27-year-old Collins began to look ragged and dropped serve to love at 4-4 before Williams claimed victory to reach the last 16 in Paris for the 13th time.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :