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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018 22:32 PM BST
Roland-Garros Day 3: Serena and Sharapova make winning returns
Wimbledon.com rounds up the action from Day 3 at Roland-Garros 2018. READ MORE

It was, in many ways, as if they had never even been away.

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova dominated proceedings at Roland-Garros on Tuesday, two superstars of the women’s game making star-studded appearances almost at the same time on Paris' two biggest show courts.

After a grey, wet morning, the sun started to shine just as Williams walked onto the main Court Philippe Chatrier, back at a Grand Slam event for the first time in 16 months, having given birth to a baby girl in September.

Dressed in a striking black catsuit with a red belt that soon set social media ablaze, the three-time champion looked solid throughout as she overcame big-serving Czech Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (4), 6-4 in what was her first clay-court match in two years.

“I missed Roland-Garros so much, I missed the battle,” Williams told former Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli after the match in fluent French.

“It's been two years since I played here,” said Williams, who plays the No.17 seed Ashleigh Barty next. “It wasn't easy but I have been training really hard. I feel good and just so happy to be back here.”

Sharapova bounces back

A little earlier on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Sharapova overcame a mid-match meltdown to beat Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Playing in her first match on the Parisian clay since coming back from a 15-month doping ban in April last year, the former top-ranked Russian led 6-1, 3-1 only to drop eight of the next nine games.

“I had a really good start, and I feel like I got very impatient in the second set for not many reasons,” said two-time winner Sharapova, who is back in Paris for the first time since 2015.

“She was becoming a little bit more consistent, and I think I lost a little bit of pace on my ball,” said Sharapova, who had been down 3-0 in the decider. “If there is any way to turn that match around, it's that way. I can be proud of that effort, but I definitely stepped back a little bit, and wasn't as aggressive as I was through that 6-1, 3-1, but overall won the last point,” said the Russian, who faces Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the next round.

Nadal’s suffering

Having pretty much demolished the men’s draw last year on the way to his 10th Roland-Garros title, Rafael Nadal was given a bit of a workout in his opening round by lucky loser Simone Bolelli, eventually winning a rain-delayed match played over two days, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9).

Bolelli came out firing from the start, putting the top seed under pressure with 26 winners, nine of which came off his forehand wing.

“It’s a good test for me, I suffered,” Nadal said in a court-side interview after saving three set points in the tiebreak and taking the win on his third match point against the swashbuckling Italian.

Up next for Nadal is Argentina's Guido Pella.

Stat of the day

Pliskova, the twin sister of former US Open finalist Karolina, fired 15 aces past Williams, the most hit against the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion since the women’s WTA starting recording match stats in 2008. Williams served 13 aces.

Mattek-Sands returns

Ten months after suffering a horrific knee injury at Wimbledon, Bethanie Mattek-Sands celebrated her return to Grand Slam tennis with a first round win against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.

It’s been long road back for the American, who had surgery after she ruptured and dislocated her kneecap in a second-round match against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea last summer.

“I couldn't get myself out of bed, I couldn't get myself to the bathroom, I couldn't get myself into the shower. I couldn't even move my leg if it was comfortable,” Mattek-Sands told the Associated Press after her win in Paris.

But her time away from tennis wasn’t in vain.

“I've really enjoyed the journey,” said Mattek-Sands, who plays Germany’s Andrea Petkovic in the second round. “I have made the most of all my moments, and it just keeps getting better and better."

Mike lost without Bob

An unusual sight in the men’s doubles: Mike Bryan playing with a man not named “Bob.”

After Bob got injured earlier in the clay court season, his twin brother and fellow 16-time Grand Slam doubles champion Mike teamed up with fellow American Sam Querrey at Roland-Garros.

Having played with his twin in every Grand Slam since 1999, things didn’t go so smoothly with his new partner as they were beaten by the British Skupski brothers, Ken and Neal, 7-5, 7-5.

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