Serena Williams advances in French Open return; ‘You can’t beat a catsuit’

Serena Williams returns a shot during a training session at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris ahead of the French Open tennis tournament

Serena Williams strode into the Phillipe Chartrier court on Tuesday in a body-hugging black body suit and she needed some Black Panther moves to battle past Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 6-4. Just nine months ago, Williams became a mom of a precious baby girl so to see her back on the court so soon is definitely inspiring to many.

"Honestly, sometimes I think I still have to deal with it", said the 36-year-old, who earlier this year revealed that she "almost died" during the birth. "Olympia was born and she had my arms, and instead of being sad and fearful about what people would say about her, I was just so happy".

It seems Williams' husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was on board with the reference, labelling her suit "that superhero outfit" on Twitter. So there is definitely a little functionality to it.

The 31-year-old, five-time major champion, took just 24 minutes to win the first set of a match which was delayed from Monday due to thunderstorms but threw away a 3-1 lead in the second.

"I'm always living in a fantasy world", she added.

"It's a fun suit, but it's also functional so I can be able to play without any problems".

Dressed in a skintight, all-in-one black bodysuit, broken up by a vivid scarlet belt, Williams captivated the French crowd from the start of the contest to its 7-6 (4), 6-4 conclusion.

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"There has to be a very good balance between being aggressive and then being able to defend as well", Barty said of her clay court tactics.

"I have been wearing trousers a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going".

The temperature hit 25C in Paris but it did not seem to affect the 23-time major victor in her first Grand Slam match since giving birth last September.

"When we spoke, she came to Mouratoglou Academy and we did a few practices and I sat with her and told her she was not ready".

"Well, first and foremost, you have to get your core back, which is hard, because it literally spreads when you have a baby". While some had doubts about whether the new mom would return to the game at all, the Grand Slam queen proved her doubters wrong and made her comeback yesterday in the most epic way imaginable. Coming back physically, rebuild her body, rebuild her cardio, rebuild her game, that's tough.

Next up for the three-times champion is Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty.

Williams elaborated on her comments in another interview, adding that she hoped her on-court appearance would inspire "a whole different group of awesome women".

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