Serena Williams to Become a Part of History During First Round of French Open 2021

Published 05/30/2021, 7:59 AM EDT
Serena Williams of The United States celebrates victory during her ladies singles first round match against Kurumi Nara of Japan during Day five of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)


23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, would begin her hunt for the elusive 24th Grand Slam trophy at the 2021 French Open. Interestingly, Williams’ opening round match would mark a significant shift in the French Open’s tradition.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

For the first time in history, Roland Garros has introduced the night matches after the installation of floodlights. Last year, the authorities made the retractable roof functional over the iconic Court Philippe-Chatrier to prevent matches from being delayed in unfavorable weather.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 12, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Serena Williams to play at night session in her opening match

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Hence, Williams would become the first top player in history to play under the lights at the French Open. Her first-round match against Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu, would inaugurate the proceedings of night sessions at the clay-court Grand Slam.

Always played under the beaming sun, with fans donning their Panama hats and shades, the night matches would add a new flavor to the French Open and would balloon the tournament’s revenue.

The night matches would begin at 9 PM local time behind closed doors. However, on the day of the final night session, around 5000 spectators would pack up the stadium.

For Williams, clay has been her least favored surface since the inception of her career. The 39-year-old, about to touch 40 in three months’ time, has won only thrice at French Open with her last title coming in 2015.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 12, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Particularly, Williams’ two consecutive early-round exits at the Italian Open and the Emilia-Romagna Open this season don’t portend well for her chances at the French Open.

Since her last Grand Slam victory at the 2017 Australian Open, Williams has been relentlessly eyeing to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, despite making four Grand Slam finals and two semifinals, the American has tasted defeat on each occasion. The 2021 French Open presents her another shot at the historic feat, however, it would be a monumental challenge given her lack of form.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Kshitij Tayal

394 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT