while limited by a
leg injury which would in part lead to three following clay-court first round losses in Marbella, Rome and Madrid.
The American, who has won the last two grand slams, today also gained a measure of revenge as she'd lost to Zakopalova only last month in the Marbella first round.
However before today, Williams was 37-0 in grand slam first round matches.
After going ahead one set, Williams fell behind 0-3 in the second set in her error prone performance. Then Williams cleaned up her game enough to win five games in a row before falling back into several errors to reach a tiebreaker. A forehand error from Williams on setpoint resulted in a decisive third set.
It just happens, Williams said. It shouldn't happen at my stage in my career, but it did.
In the third set, Williams fought off the increasingly windy conditions, the French crowd who could sense a possible upset, and her own erratic groundstrokes for the victory.
I was just desperate for a win, the 10 time grand slam champion Williams said, and I think it pretty much showed in my game.
I just played horrendous. I was nervous because I hadn't won a match on clay this year. Now hopefully I'll start to play better.
In the second round Williams meets the 133rd ranked Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain who surprisingly leads the American head to head 1-0. In 1998 in her first Wimbledon appearance, Williams retired injured while trailing Ruano Pascual 7-5, 4-1.