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By Julien Pretot
PARIS May 25 World number one Serena Williams huffed and puffed into the French Open second round with a 6-2 6-1 win over local favourite Alize Lim on Sunday.
The defending champion sprayed court Philippe Chatrier with unforced errors in a match that was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggested.
Williams was so confident she would crush her training partner that she warmed up for the encounter wearing a blazer suit, but Lim proved to be a tenacious opponent despite her ranking of 138.
In the opening set, Lim claimed 27 points but surprisingly 23 of those came thanks to Williams's unforced errors.
Williams wasted four match points in the second set before wrapping it up on the fifth when her opponent sent a backhand long.
Williams, who could face her older sister Venus in the third round, did not want to put too much pressure on her shoulders, having already won the tournament twice.
"This year I'm just going day by day. I do have to say this year I don't feel as much pressure on myself as I did last year," she told a news conference.
"And that's it. I just am doing the best I can."
Lim never seemed to believe that she could be the second player to beat Williams in the first round of a grand slam.
Asked if she was scared to play against Williams, with whom she sometimes trains at the Mouratoglou tennis academy, Lim said: "Just after the draw, because very often that's the kind of match she plays against other girls.
"So I tried to focus having positive thoughts, and I thought to myself, Okay, I have played boys and it can't be worse.
"She doesn't come from another planet, so if I can move well and I can hit my ball well, there is no reason she should win 6-0 6-0."
(Reporting by Julien Pretot,; Editing by Ed Osmond)