Best of Week 1: Women's draw

 - Ian Chadband

Supermom Serena, Kozlova's unlikely win, Parmentier's cool moment and lights-out Muguruza topped our list.

Best match

Serena Williams’ comeback has hogged the limelight all week, naturellement. The superhero in a black catsuit, the unseeded avenger, the woman striking a blow for all moms out there, the great one offering the mother of all comebacks.

Oh yes, and the tennis wasn’t too shabby either. Ashleigh Barty was young, gifted and very dangerous but in a wonderful second round game, the 36-year-old, who had twice suffered the indignity of being broken to love while tumbling to one-set and a break down, imposed her unbreakable will and talent on the Aussie.

"I think when push came to shove, the real Serena came out,” sighed Barty. She wasn’t the only one to recognise this; it was the night that it really dawned on everyone - Serena is back.

Best moment

It’s always special when the Roland-Garros crowds find a hopeless cause they can get behind, a project worth fighting for, particularly if one of their own is involved. The Chatrier courtiers had not been all that supportive of Pauline Parmentier in her opening two matches when she had been up against fellow French players, but when she was losing 6-0 5-0 to the rampant world No.2 Caroline Wozniacki and the dreaded ‘double bagel’ looked ready to be wolfed down by the Dane, the din they served up offered her fresh courage.

“I was looking at the score, and I thought ‘Oh, it's really awful.’ I thought I should just leave,” she said, before deciding, no, she had to fight until the end.

Too right. When the 32-year-old finally broke her duck and raised her arms to the skies, the cheers and joyous laughter could not have been louder if she’d actually won the trophy. What a moment! “The audience was kind of nice with me. They were cool,” recalled Parmentier, reckoning that she may have given them 10 minutes of delight.

Roland-Garros 2018, Pauline Parmentier©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
Best story

While admitting that this should probably be another win for comeback supermom Serena, let’s offer this prize to Kateryna Kozlova, the 24-year-old who produced the biggest shock of the championships on its opening day.

First, we must travel back to two and a half months before when she had suffered a knee injury at Indian Wells and was pondering a bleak-looking season. She went back to Europe, with the possibility that she would need surgery, but after expert medical treatment and physiotherapy, she gingerly began her competitive comeback, losing her fifth successive match of the season at Nuremburg, and then could only end up laughing about her bad luck when she drew reigning champion Jelena Ostapenko in the form round at Roland-Garros.

Bad luck? It turned out to be an amazing stroke of fortune for Kozlova, who played nervelessly to ensure that the erratic Latvian was the first French Open defending champion to lose in the opening round in 13 years.

“I was just happy to be on court, back on court, and compete,” shrugged the amazed Kozlova. “And, in the end, the result comes up and it's just amazing!”

Best performance

You never quite know what sort of performance Garbine Muguruza is going to deliver. What you do know is when she is on a hot streak, she can burn anybody. So when Sam Stosur stepped onto Court Philippe-Chatrier on Saturday, armed with her battle-hardened quality on clay, it seemed we were set for a proper tussle.

Instead, the 34-year-old Stosur was blitzed 6-0 6-2 in a manner which even left her a mite baffled. “I was, like, jeez, I don't feel like I've done that much wrong here and yet I'm 4-0 down - and then, before I knew it, the first set was done. I felt like I was not playing too bad.”

Indeed, she didn’t. That was the measure of Muguruza’s excellence, which signalled that a third Slam could be on its way.

Best line in press

Serena on her cat-suit, life with Olympia and being a super-mom took some topping…

“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, queen from Wakanda maybe. I'm always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a super hero, and it's kind of my way of being a super hero. I feel like a super hero when I wear it.

“I'm a super hands-on mom. Maybe too much! My priority is Olympia, no matter what. I have given tennis so much, and tennis has actually given me a lot, and I couldn't be more grateful. I want her to know that I really try to put her first in my life, along with God and my family. I feel like everything else will fall into place, and it has. I feel like it's all going to work out.”