Sharapova rolls past Pliskova at Roland Garros

Serena Williams

Serena Williams plays her first match since March Credit Getty Images

Ashleigh Barty was left to reflect on what might have been after she bowed out the French Open second round to Serena Williams on Thursday.

For all that has changed in the 16 months since Serena Williams last played in a grand slam tournament - she is now married and a mother - so much was familiar about her at the French Open.

The Spanish tennis maestro, who is bidding to clinch his 11th French Open trophy, will match Margaret Court's all-time record for most singles titles at the same Grand Slam event if he lifts the title again.

Maria Sharapova admitted on Saturday that "numbers don't lie", after setting up a potential 22nd meeting with Serena Williams, who she has lost to 18 times in a row.

"She will not want to leave early because she loves Paris", Courier, victor in 1991 and 1992, said.

Against Pliskova, Sharapova held an 18-5 edge in winners and broke the 2016 US Open runner-up in five of her seven service games.

However, her game failed to match her impressive outfit in the first set, where she was broken in the sixth game by the Australian.

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Barty was peppered by brutal groundstrokes and could not find a way back, Williams letting out another scream of delight after holding to love to go through.

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Simona Halep beat American Taylor Townsend in a straight-set 6-3, 6-1 win and will now face Germany's Andrea Petkovic. I've got to just try harder, ' she told the crowd afterward. But the good news is I feel like I'm definitely going to get there.

This match could be exactly what Serena Williams needed. She confirmed she will play at warm-up tournaments in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne before the season's third Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

"I mean, I played well".

The half-full Philippe Chatrier crowd was ecstatic on seeing their hero return as they partook in a Mexican Wave when Serena was leading in the final set, delaying her moment of victory.

"You know I also felt the pleasure in the past, but I couldn't show it, so now I relax myself".

"We designed it way before the movie", she said, "but still, it kind of reminds me of that".

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