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Serena Williams makes Grand Slam comeback

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  • AP

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam tennis tournament (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Serena Williams has won the first set against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in her comeback to Grand Slam tennis following the birth of her daughter in September.

Williams, wearing an all-black body suit with a pink waistband, is up 7-6 (4), 0-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Williams hasn’t played in a major since winning her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open.
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4:40 p.m.
Two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova of Russia has been pushed to three sets in her return to the Paris Grand Slam following a two-year absence.
Sharapova was given a tough challenge by Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp but eventually prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
It was Sharapova’s first win at the French Open since 2015 after she served a drug ban in 2016 and was not granted a wild card last year.
Sharapova led 6-1, 4-3 but lost the next six games as Hogenkamp led 3-0 in the decider. Sharapova managed to turn things around and Hogenkamp angrily tossed her racket at the red clay after Sharapova resisted pressure on her serve in the sixth game, saving two break points.
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4:15 p.m.
Rafael Nadal narrowly avoided dropping a set at the French Open for the first time in three years and finished off his rain-interrupted 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) victory over 129th-ranked Simone Bolelli of Italy.
Beginning his bid for a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros, Nadal needed to erase four set points to close things out Tuesday.
Bolelli produced a drop volley winner for a 6-3 lead in the tiebreaker, but Nadal discarded that trio of set points with an ace, a backhand volley winner and an inside-out forehand winner. Bolelli then had another set point at 7-6, but put a forehand return in the net.
From there, it took Nadal three match points to finish, reaching the second round when Bolelli missed a forehand.
Nadal grabbed the opening two sets Monday, but trailed 3-0 in the third when play was suspended because of rain.
Nadal hasn’t ceded a set at the French Open since 2015, when he was beaten in the quarterfinals by Novak Djokovic. In 2016, Nadal withdrew with an injured left wrist after a pair of easy victories, then claimed every set he played last year en route to the trophy.
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2:50 p.m.
Third-seeded Marin Cilic has kicked off his Roland Garros campaign with a straight-set win over James Duckworth of Australia.
Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion who reached two of the past three Grand Slam finals, was not bothered by the rain that stopped play for about an hour and won 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Duckworth, who missed the French Open last year because of foot surgery, has never won a match at the clay-court event in four appearances.
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2:40 p.m.
Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov’s first Grand Slam match as a seeded player went about as smoothly as could be — a straight-set victory at the French Open.
The 19-year-old lefty, who is seeded 24th for his Roland Garros main-draw debut, needed just 2 hours to get past 59th-ranked John Millman of Australia 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
Shapovalov compiled a 32-9 edge in winners and converted 6 of 12 break points.
A year after losing in the opening round of qualifying in Paris, he is the second-youngest man in the French Open field.
Next for Shapovalov is a matchup against 70th-ranked Maximilian Marterer of Germany, a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 winner against Ryan Harrison of the U.S.
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2:30 p.m.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza is back to winning ways at the French Open after beating Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, another former Roland Garros champion. Muguruza, who claimed the title in Paris two years ago, advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (0), 6-2 win.
After beating Serena Williams in the 2016 final, Muguruza’s title defense was ended in the fourth round last year.
Now ranked 43rd, the 32-year-old Kuznetsova was making her 16th consecutive appearance in the main draw in Paris, where she won the title in 2009.
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1:25 p.m
Play has resumed at the French Open after a suspension due to rain of about an hour.
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12:20 p.m.
Play has been interrupted at the French Open because of rain.
Third-seeded Marin Cilic and James Duckworth played for a little more than one hour on Court Philippe Chatrier before they were sent back to the locker room by tournament officials.
Cilic, a runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year, led 6-3, 5-4 when their first-round match was stopped.
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11:00 a.m.
It’s a big day at the French Open as Serena Williams makes her comeback on Day 3 of the clay-court Grand Slam following the birth of her daughter in September.
Williams hasn’t played in a major since winning her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open and a big question mark is hanging over her current form. A three-time champion at Roland Garros, she has not played a single competitive match on clay this season ahead of her first round meeting with Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic
Also in the women’s first round, 2016 winner Garbine Muguruza plays another former French Open champion, Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won in 2009. And No. 1 seed Simona Halep starts her French Open campaign against 83rd-ranked Alison Riske of the United States.
On the men’s side, top-seeded Rafael Nadal will aim to quickly finish his rain-interrupted first-round match against Italy’s Simone Bolelli. The 10-time French Open champion is leading 6-4, 6-3, 0-3.

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After spending the last few years in television and radio, Tyler Moody comes to REALShreveport.com to head the sports’ department. An Elysian Fields, Texas and Shreveport native, Tyler has followed sports in the area his entire life. From a young age, his love for pure competition grew year after year. “Moody” attended high school in Shreveport at the athletic powerhouse that is Evangel Christian Academy. He was a starting pitcher and garnered multiple all-state accolades along with a 2009 state championship as an Eagle. He has taken the knowledge gained on the field and applied it to his career in sports. An avid fantasy sports player, Moody has become the go-to guy for fantasy talk and advice in the Ark-La-Tex. Now, he hopes to continue to grow REALShreveport.com into Shreveport’s go-to for area sports.

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