Serena Williams survived a tough test against Ashleigh Barty to reach the third round at Roland Garros on Thursday.
The 23-time grand slam winner was forced to comeback from a set down to defeat the gutsy Australian 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in just under two hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
There were moments where Williams looked sluggish and out of form, but, as she has done so many times throughout her sterling career, she found a way to win.
A tense opening set went with serve before a lapse in concentration from Williams handed Barty three break points. After converting the first one, the 17th seed went on to consolidate the break and serve out an unlikely set win.
Williams was in more strife after losing her opening service game in the second set, but found her competitive instincts to break back twice more with some clutch plays to force a deciding set.
Barty continued to fight in the closing set, but her veteran opponent broke early and followed it up with a routine pinpoint service game. With the break consolidated, Williams held her nerve to serve out the set and reach the third round in Paris for the 13th time.
Next up for Williams is 11th seed Julia Gorges, who defeated Alison van Uytvanck 7-5, 7-6(5). Williams has won their only two clashes, with last coming in 2011.
Elsewhere, Chinese hopeful Peng Shuai was knocked out by seventh seed Caroline Garcia while 2011 US Open winner Sam Stosur upset 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 7-6(1).
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