French Open 2021 - “I have to” improve to win record equalling 24th Grand Slam title - Williams after second round win
The 39-year-old survived a second set blip against Mihaela Buzarnescu to see off the Romanian 6-3 5-7 6-1, setting up a match with fellow American Danielle Collins in round three. Williams says her 174th ranked opponent forced her to step up her game and says she missed too many opportunities in the second set.
The Cube - 'I want to improve' - Serena on victory over Buzărnescu
18-time major winner Chris Evert told Eurosport after the match that she is impressed Williams is still able to raise her level for the big moments, and the player herself was asked on Eurosport’s The Cube whether she has more gears to use.
Serena WIliams survives scare to reach French Open third round
“Who knows? I was just trying and it was definitely important for me to step it up,” she said.
There were some really crucial opportunities that I missed (in the second set) and I knew in that third (set) that I couldn’t miss those again.
Mats Wilander asked Williams whether she is more driven by titles or to make any further strides in her game, but she says it is a mixture:
It’s definitely both, I definitely have that opportunity every time I step on a Grand Slam (court) - I obviously want to improve and in order to win that 24th, I have to.
The Cube: 'Serena hasn't lost that instinct' - Evert
There was one slightly more awkward moment for Williams near the beginning of the third set when she had to deal with an outfit issue. While she joked to Barbara Schett “you can’t bring that up,” she admitted it was a moment she was keen to sort out quickly.
“I was just thinking I’ve got to hit some big serves here, I really need some big serves here! No more deuce!”
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Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title at his favourite event and 2020 Roland Garros sensation Iga Swiatek aiming to replicate her stunning triumph in Paris.