‘I’m in a better place than when I got here,’ says Serena Williams after Roland Garros exit

Serena Williams was in philosophical mood after her French Open exit, saying she had exceeded her expectations.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion crashed out of the tournament on Sunday, losing 6-3, 7-5 to Elena Rybakina.

However, after heading to Paris on the back of two disappointing showings at the Italian Open and Parma, she said she was happy with her performance and is now looking ahead to Wimbledon.

“I’m in a much better place than when I got here,” Serena Williams said.

“Just literally trying to win a match, because it had been a really difficult season for me on the clay.

“And although I love the clay, I was, like, ‘If I could just win a match’.

“I’m kind of excited to switch surfaces, but historically I have done pretty well on grass.

“I have done pretty well on clay too. Just not this particular season. I don’t know. I don’t think I’m going to play a warm-up.”

Rybakina, meanwhile, will now move into the quarterfinals and she now has a great chance to reach the final.

“I’m so happy with the match today,” she said. ‘It’s difficult to expect anything, because you watch on TV and that’s completely different when you come on court and you feel the power and everything.

“I knew that the serve was going to be difficult for me to return,” reflected Rybakina, who blocked out the aura of facing Williams that so many succumb to.

“She’s powerful, but I was ready. Then after few points I felt it comfortable, so nothing.”

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