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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2007, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Serena triumphs after slow start
Serena Williams
Williams looked in trouble after losing the first set
French Open
27 May-10 June
TV: Coverage on BBCi throughout tournament, singles finals on BBC One and Two
Radio: Commentary on Five Live Sports Extra, 4-6 June; commentary on singles finals on Five Live
Web/Mobile: Results, draws, reports, news, features

Serena Williams recovered from an awful start to her French Open campaign to beat Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.

The Australian Open champion made 26 errors in the first set and 19-year-old Pironkova emerged from a six-hour rain delay to clinch it.

But Williams suddenly found her form and reeled off nine games in a row before triumphing 5-7 6-1 6-1.

Williams is in the same quarter of the draw as Justine Henin, a 6-4 6-3 winner over Russian Elena Vesnina on day one.

"The conditions were difficult," Williams said. "The rain really slows the court down.

"I was already coming back when there was the break and there's no way I wouldn't have gone to at least three sets.

"I'm a fighter. I've never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam and I didn't want that to change.

"I was also feeling that if I went down, there was a 99.9% chance she would lose in the next round.

"That helped me keep fighting. I couldn't lose on the Sunday, no way."

Henin, the defending champion, meets Austria's Tamira Paszek in the next round while Williams awaits the winner of a first-round match between France's Virginie Razzano and Milagros Sequera of Venezuela.

Paszek thrashed Japan's Aiko Nakamura 6-4 6-0 while the only other women's match to be completed on day one was tenth seed Dinara Safina's 7-5 6-4 win over Ukraine's Yuliana Fedak.

Pironkova v Serena gamewatch
27 May 07 |  Tennis
Safin through in rain-hit Paris
27 May 07 |  Tennis
Roland Garros day one photos
27 May 07 |  Tennis
Monday's order of play
26 May 07 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
22 May 07 |  Tennis
Contact the BBC TV tennis team
24 May 07 |  Tennis
Women's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis
Men's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis


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