Serena Williams says nerves are motivating

The world number one triumphed at Roland Garros for the second time in her career 12 months ago, and came through her first-round encounter with Frenchwoman Alize Lim largely untroubled in a 6-2 6-1 victory on Sunday.

However, Williams – winner of 17 grand slam titles – put in an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance on the famous clay of Court Philippe Chatrier, and may have been punished by a higher-calibre opponent.

As it was, the 32-year-old booked a place in round two, and the American believes the fact she still has fears at the major tournaments is helping to drive her quest for more titles.

“In the beginning, a lot of the games went to 30 all, so I think we were pretty even,” she said.

“It was an interesting start. I was a little nervous, like I always am in my first round. It’s kind of always hard for me to shake those nerves and go from there.

“I think it’s nice to have a little bit of nerves, because it means that you still have a passion for it. You still have this inside feeling that you want to do really well or else the nerves wouldn’t be there.”

Awaiting Williams in round two is a showdown with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who defeated Grace Min.

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