Serena Williams Beats Irina-Camelia Begu in Straight Sets at 2021 French Open

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 31, 2021

Serena Williams of the US reacts during the women's singles first round tennis match against Romania's Irina Begu at the court Philippe Chatrier on Day 2 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 31, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Serena Williams dispatched of Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets during first-round play at the French Open on Monday. But it wasn't an easy, breezy win for the three-time Roland Garros champion. 

Williams needed a first-set tiebreaker before seizing control in the second set, winning 7-6 (6), 6-2. 

Williams registered five aces, won 15 of 19 net points and smashed 27 winners, to go along with 30 unforced errors, per RolandGarros.com

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

Signature Serena power 🔋#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/drSawZX5L2

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

Bringing the best for the night session 😍#RolandGarros | @serenawilliams pic.twitter.com/j4YIwpOHJR

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Serena's game seems to be in first or second gear but she's competing very well.<br><br>Two big forehand swing volleys to fight back from 4-6 to 8-6 in the first set tiebreak over Begu to close out a roller coaster first set.#RG21

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

After battling through the first set, Serena Williams closes it out fairly smoothly, 7-6(6), 6-2 over Irina-Camelia Begu. <br><br>She's now an incredible 77-1 in Slam R1s in her career.<br><br>Serena faces another Romanian, Dr. Mihaela Buzarnescu, in the second round of #RG21.

The match also made a bit of history, as it was the first scheduled night session in the history of the tournament. 

It was a solid first step for Williams in her quest to tie Margaret Court at 24 Grand Slam titles. She's currently at 23, and that record is essentially the only career milestone she hasn't achieved in a historically incredible career. 

Williams already has earned the title of the greatest female player—and perhaps simply the greatest tennis player, period— of all time. Catching Court would simply be the cherry on top.

But her Roland Garros tuneup matches weren't exactly promising. She lost in the opening round of the Italian Open and the second round of the Emilia-Romagna Open. But her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, wasn't too concerned heading into the French Open. 

"I think it's always interesting to play matches because it gives you a clear vision of where you are, so that was good in that way because we know what she still needs to accomplish in order to be ready for Roland Garros," he said, per Raz Mirza of Sky Sports. "I'm not worried in general because if she does the job she will be ready. It's just about doing the job."