Domineering Serena sets up Sharapova showdown
Serena Williams set up a mouth-watering fourth-round showdown with Maria Sharapova at the French Open by beating Julia Goerges on a warm Saturday evening in Paris.
Williams said she was not putting too much expectation on her shoulders in her first grand slam since giving birth nine months ago, but she breezed into the last 16 with a 6-3 6-4 win over Goerges.
The 23-time grand slam singles champion had too much power for the 11th seed, who was broken three times as she felt the force of one of the all-time greats.
Williams, unseeded at Roland Garros, turned 'super hero' again in her Wakanda-inspired catsuit on Court Suzanne Lenglen and will take on old foe Sharapova in a last-16 contest on Monday which is not to be missed.
Williams said "the real Serena came out" when she fought back from a set down to beat Ashleigh Barty in the second round and the 36-year-old turned up from the start against Goerges.
She put the German under pressure, roaring after claiming an early break for a 3-1 lead and dictated rallies from the baseline, while serving with increasing assurance.
Williams finished off the set with a fierce smash and was in no mood to hang around as she fizzed a ferocious forehand return beyond Goerges to go a break up at 2-1 in the second.
Goerges broke back immediately when the fired-up American got too much on a forehand, but the three-time French Open champion earned three break points in the next game and fired away a backhand winner for a 3-2 lead.
From there it was plain sailing as Williams marched on towards the fourth round, swatting away another perfectly executed overhead before Goerges drilled a backhand long to bow out.
Williams bt Goerges  6-3 6-4
Williams – 20/12
Goerges – 23/23
Williams – 3/3
Goerges – 11/2
BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 3/11
Goerges – 1/1
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 63
Goerges – 63
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 85/50
Goerges – 65/37
Williams – 69
Goerges – 51