Though Serena dropped a tough doubles match alongside sister Venus on Sunday night – the siblings’ first-ever loss together at an Olympic Games – she pulled no punches in her Monday night bout with France’s Alize Cornet.
In the match, Williams quickly established a 3-0 lead, but then double-faulted to make the score 3-1. It was a key point for Cornet, who seized on the opportunity. The Frenchwoman eventually built to a 5-4 lead against the World No. 1.
The first set culminated in a tiebreak. A few “come on!” screams later – Williams’ favorite phrase – and the California native clinched the set, 7(7)-6(5).
From there, it was a clinical win for Williams. Once again, she ripped a 3-0 lead in the second set. She built on that foundation for a final score of 7(7)-6(5), 6-2.
Unlike Grand Slam tournaments, Olympic tennis competitions take place over eight days. Though Williams played both Sunday and Monday, she’ll compete in her third round match on Wednesday. Her opponent is slated to be Ukraine’s 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina.
Williams leads in a head-to-head match-up, 4-0. She last defeated Svitolina in the round of 16 at this year’s French Open. Williams was a finalist at that tournament, but lost to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.