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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Serena Williams confident her best is still to come after reaching third round of French Open

The 23-time major winner showed her resolve in defeating 17th seed Ashleigh Barty in three sets

Serena Williams is in the third round at the French Open. Charles Platiau / Reuters
Serena Williams is in the third round at the French Open. Charles Platiau / Reuters

Serena Williams came from a set down to book her place in the third round of the French Open and believes not only can she return to the top of her game but she can get even better.

The 36-year-old reached the third round at Roland Garros on Thursday as she came from a set down to beat 17th-seed Ashleigh Barty.

Australian Barty broke the 23-time grand slam winner in the sixth game of the first set and, when she served out the set convincingly things looked ominous for Williams.

After all, the former world number one had not played a major tournament since winning the 2017 Australian Open, having given birth to her daughter in September.

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But from somewhere Williams got her serve firing and summoned up her powerful groundstrokes to blow Barty away 3-6 6-3 6-4.

"I lost the first set and I thought 'I've got to try harder'," she said. "Then Serena came out.

"Every day is a great day for me and I'm excited to play singles, or doubles, and fight my heart out."

Williams will face 11th seed Julia Gorges of Germany in round three and she believes she has a lot more to come.

"This is just my third tournament back and I have had a long break since my last one, so I'm probably not where I was before I left," said Williams, who is making a mockery of her ranking as the 451st best player in the world this week.

"But the good news is I feel like I'm definitely going to get there. And I don't want to get there, I want to get beyond there. I don't want to limit myself. That's what I want to look forward to doing.

"I have definitely always had that will to win. It was something I was born with. I want to be able to do my best and one day tell my daughter that I tried my best."

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