Rome (AFP)

After three months without competition since the Australian Open, the American Serena Williams sees her "freshness" as an advantage but also a difficulty when it comes to reconnecting with clay, less than three weeks before Roland Garros.

"I feel rather fresh. It's good to leave with freshness, but at the same time it's also difficult to be fresh", launched Monday at a press conference the world N.8, already titled at four times on Roman ocher (between 2002 and 2016), just one victory off Chris Evert's record.

"I feel pretty good, I hope to have good matches here and then there is a Grand Slam where I always like it, I think I'm ready," added the 39-year-old American, rather relaxed, ensuring in a small smile didn't even know if she was still in the Top 10.

Serena Williams played her last match in February in the Australian Open semi-final, defeated in the semi-final by Naomi Osaka.

Since then, she has "trained a lot" on clay in the United States and France.

“We had several weeks of very intense training,” she said.

For the sequel, she stressed that she had not made any plans for the Tokyo Olympics: "I haven't thought much about it yet. It must have been last year and now it's this year and there is this pandemic, with a lot to think about. I take day after day and I still have to define what will be next, "she explained.

Serena Williams, exempted from the 1st round in Rome, will start in the 2nd against the German Laura Siegemund (55th world) or the Argentina Nadia Podoroska (44th).

© 2021 AFP