Serena Williams makes short work of Roland Garros opener


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The Independent Online

Serena Williams crushed one of her French Open ghosts with an unstoppable demolition of Anna Tatishvili in the first round in Paris.

Roland Garros has been a troublesome venue for the world number one with several painful defeats, none more so than last year when she fell in the opening round of a grand slam for the first time in her career.

Williams' conqueror was Virginie Razzano, an unheralded Frenchwoman ranked outside the top 100, and it was all the more surprising given the American had been in superb form on the European clay.

Williams took the defeat hard but regrouped, took on a new coach in Patrick Mouratoglou and has won 68 of her 71 matches since, bringing her 10 titles, including Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.

The 31-year-old is the hot favourite to win her second French Open title 11 years after her first, and today's display will do nothing to change that.

Back on Court Philippe Chatrier for the first time since losing to Razzano, Williams reeled off the first nine games against Georgia's Tatishvili, allowing her opponent only seven points in the first set.

Tatishvili finally got on the board in the 10th game and battled manfully to at least make a fight of the second set but Williams was not in a charitable mood and clinched a 6-0 6-1 victory in 51 minutes.