Serena Williams's Absence Leaves a Giant Void at French Open

Serena Williams of the U.S. leaves after watching her sister Venus Williams match against Japan's Kurumi Nara during their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris France. Wednesday

Although Serena Williams was not on the court on Wednesday, the heralded tennis player was still in attendance to watch her sister, Venus, take on Kurumi Nara at the 2017 French Open.

So, seeing as Venus said they all want Serena's baby to be named after them, then that means she is having a girl.

"I love being here and I love playing on this court", Williams, who is playing her 20th French Open, said afterwards.

Serena, who is about six months pregnant, was in the stands on Wednesday to root on her older sister.

Referring to the baby as "she", Venus told Eurosport: "I want to be known as the favourite aunt".

Nara had a slow start to the match as she was overwhelmed by the precise and powerful groundstrokes by Williams, as seen in the opening game when the American had a 0-40 lead to begin the match with. Lest we forget, she is also enjoying a tremendous second wind since her Sjogren's Syndrome diagnosis, and reached the final of the Australian Open in January - her first grand slam final in almost eight years. "The other days, I was able to kind of get to the locker room and kind of compose myself a little bit".

"Definitely, I think spacing out how long, how many tournaments I have played, I believe that's helped me", Williams said.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina plays a shot against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova during their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris France. Thursday
The Latest: Mattek-Sands ends Kvitova's comeback in Paris

"The first round is always tricky", Williams said. When you consider the big hitters in the women's game that have won, Sharapova twice in the last four or five years, Muguruza last year, Venus is one of the possibilities'. I don't know exactly when.

Williams is a pretty capable clay court player, indeed, with nine titles and a 168-56 career record on clay to earn a winning percentage of 75.

"I thought it was 4-3".

Svetlana Kuznetsova struggled to keep up with the score at the end of her first-round victory over Christina McHale. The German regained the No. 1 ranking after Serena Williams went on maternity leave, but was affected by a back injury in the build up and admits her confidence is not where she would like it to be. Serena's baby announcement on social media was completely unintentional, too.

She was undecided until late last week whether to even try to play in the French Open.

Thankfully there was not much power on Haase's shot, as the same official took a nasty blow from Denis Shapovalov back in February which left him with a fractured orbital bone.


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