• Tom Grant

Serena Williams progresses through in first ever Roland Garros night match

Serena Williams booked her place in the second round of the French Open after seeing off Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu in the first-ever night match played at the tournament.

The American 39-year old, sporting a delightful citrus green outfit, won 7-6, 6-2, in one hour & forty-two minutes as she began her latest attempt to break Margaret Courts Grand Slam record of 24 titles.

The historic evening match on the Philippe Chatrier court, a new addition to the Roland Garros schedule this year, didn't have fans in attendance due to a local curfew placed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Williams will now play another Romanian in Mihaela Buzarnescu in the next round after she defeated Arantxa Rus in straight sets.

Both players held serve early in the first set before sharing breaks in the fourth and fifth games.

And Williams broke again in game six, finishing with a thunderous crosscourt forehand that landed right in the very corner of the red ash playing surface.

But still, she couldn't close out the first set, losing her serve when serving for it as Begu settled into the match and found her range and her rhythm.

The Romanian then served for the first set at 6-5 before Williams broke back to force a tie-break.

Begu failed to convert two set points in the breaker as Williams fought back to win the next four, letting out an almighty roar as she won her first breakpoint with a running forehand volley.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion was fired up now & on a roll, taking the momentum from the first set into the second and racing into a 2-0 lead.

It appeared the fight was draining from the plucky 30-year-old Romanian as Williams secured a double break to lead 5-2 and serve for the match.

And she comfortably secured the win on her first match point to continue her quest for a fourth French Open title.

This year's French is Williams 12th attempt at breaking the slams record after her last victory at the 2017 Australian Open.