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Serena Williams defeats Begu in first scheduled French Open night match

Serena Williams. Photo: Twitter/@rolandgarros

Paris, June 1 (MNN) American Serena Williams won her first scheduled night match against Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets in the first round of the French Open here.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner struggled on Monday night with her serve but played aggressively, and saved two set points before overcoming 74th-ranked Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6 (6), 6-2 under the lights in an hour and 42 minutes.

The world 7th-ranked Williams will face 174th-ranked Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in the second round on Wednesday.

Williams, who first played the French Open in 1998, improved her reocrd to 77-1 in first-round Slam matches.

Her lone loss came in Paris in 2012 in the first round of the French Open against Virginie Razzano.

Williams, who lost in the semi-finals at the Australian Open in February, suffered straight set losses to the 44th-ranked Nadia Podoroska in Rome and the 68th-ranked Katerina Siniakova in Parma when she returned to the tour.

She has won the French Open three times, most recently in 2015, and at age 39 is chasing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.

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