Serena still driven to succeed after French Open battle

Now a mother, tennis is no longer Serena Williams' top priority but the three-time French Open winner is still driven to succeed.

Former world number one Serena Williams   -  Getty Images

Former world number one Serena Williams said her will to win remains strong after the 23-time grand slam champion survived at the French Open.

Williams rallied past Ashleigh Barty 3-6 6-3 6-4 as the American veteran advanced to the third round at Roland Garros Thursday.

The 36-year-old – unseeded in her first grand slam since giving birth to her first child in September – was out of sorts in the opening set but the tennis icon dug deep to see off the Australian's challenge.

Now a mother to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, tennis is no longer Williams' top priority but the three-time French Open winner is still driven to succeed.

"I have definitely always had that will to win. It was something I was born with, thank goodness," she said after almost two hours on the red clay.

"This is a grand slam. This is my first one back. I want to do the best that I can.

"I want to be able to just do my best and one day tell my daughter that I tried my best. When I was out there, that's all I was just trying to do, is just do that."

Williams, who will next face Julia Goerges despite tallying 36 unforced errors, added: "I felt like in the first set I didn't play bad. I just didn't make any shots. So I guess that is bad.

"But I had all the right ideas, like, coming to the net and hitting all my shots. They just weren't going in. For me, that was a positive thing, because it wasn't like I was playing the ultimate match. I was just making so many errors.

"I was, like, I've got to cut down on the errors, and I've just got to come out here and fight. And that's what I did."


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