French Open: Simona Halep and Serena Williams reach third round at Roland Garros

Author: BBC
Simona Halep in action

Defending champion Simona Halep made it through to the French Open third round, where she joined three-time winner Serena Williams.

World number three Halep overcame illness to beat Poland's Magda Linette 6-4 5-7 6-3 in two hours 11 minutes.

"I didn't feel that great. Tomorrow I will sleep all day because I am a bit sick," said Halep.

Earlier, 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams beat Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-2.

Halep recovers from missed match points to win

Halep showed her intentions from the off, breaking her Polish opponent's serve in the very first game with a stunning forehand winner.

Linette, 27, soon broke back to level the set at 2-2, before immediately losing on her own serve as Halep went on to hold for a 4-2 lead.

The next two games went against serve before Linette held and Halep secured the opening set in 49 minutes.

In the second set, Halep broke Linette's second service game and looked set to serve out the match when she found herself 40-30 ahead at 5-4 up.

But stunning play from Linette, particularly on the forehand, frustrated Halep as the world number 87 defied her ranking to break back before winning the set.

Halep controlled the deciding set from the start, though, breaking Linette's serve on three occasions as she went 5-1 up.

But unforced errors started to creep into her game as Linette mounted a comeback - Halep eventually wrapping up the set and match on a break.

She will next play Aleksandra Krunic or Lesia Tsurenko, whose match was suspended at 6-6 in the third set as darkness fell.

Meanwhile, there will be no French woman in the Roland Garros third round for the first time since 1986 after Caroline Garcia was knocked out.

Garcia, seeded 24th, was beaten by Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova 1-6 6-4 6-4.