Birthday girl Simona Halep described her French Open first-round victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo as "the perfect present".

Fresh from winning the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome, Halep arrived in Paris as favourite and top seed for the final grand slam of the year.

And she marked her 29th birthday with a 6-4 6-0 triumph under the new roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

"The perfect present was that I won, of course," said the 2018 champion. "It was a really special day playing on Roland Garros on my birthday, so it's going to be pretty unique maybe forever.

"I cannot celebrate much, because I have to stay in the room, so I will have a bottle of water.

"I will speak with my very close ones and loved ones. Just that. Nothing special. After the tournament, I will [celebrate properly]."

While Halep, who now faces compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu, had the luxury of an enclosed arena the cold weather outside caused issues for others on a day that saw Venus Williams make an early exit.

AZA-BRRR-ENKA

It was a chilly day in the French capital and few people were more bothered by the conditions than Victoria Azarenka, who donned a jacket and leggings for her match with Danka Kovinic. 

The former world number one triumphed 6-1 6-2 but she left the court three games into the first set claiming it was "too cold", a consequence of the tournament taking place four months later than planned.

"I think my opponent first of all slipped in the third game, so I think she was also feeling a little bit uncomfortable," said Azarenka.

"And I just asked like when my grip is getting wet in between points, are we going to still continue to play?

"And then [the official] told me that if I'm willing to wait a little bit longer while the drizzle stops, because the rain was supposed to increase, and I said absolutely not because I don't see a point of sitting on the court when it's eight degrees.

"I at the same time asked my opponent if she wants to wait on the court or she wants to go off court, and she said she doesn't want to wait on the court.

"So, I'm not going to waste my time sitting there and getting cold."

KONTA DUMPED OUT BY GAUFF

Coco Gauff dumped out ninth seed Johanna Konta as the 16-year-old produced a fine display.

Gauff came through in straight sets, beating the Briton 6-3 6-3 to secure a second-round showdown with qualifier Martina Trevisan.

It constitutes a shock premature departure for Konta, who reached the semi-finals in 2019.

VENUS DONE WITH 2020

Venus Williams declaring she is "done" with 2020 is a statement with which many will be able to identify.

The American veteran, a 2002 finalist at this slam, was beaten 6-4 6-4 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, who will now face Azarenka.

Asked if she had any plays to play again this year, the 40-year-old replied: "I'm going home from here. I'm done. If there is somewhere to play, I won't be there."

One player who will have at least one more match this year is Eugenie Bouchard, who overcame Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka saw off Venus Williams at the Internazionali d'Italia to book a meeting against Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.

Azarenka, who beat Serena Williams in the Flushing Meadows semi-finals, won 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 against the American's older sister to earn an enticing meeting with Australian Open champion Kenin in the last 32.

In a battle lasting just over two hours, Azarenka had to save a set point before claiming what proved to be a pivotal tie-break, the win avenging a defeat to Venus Williams in the first round of the Top Seed Open last month.

"[A] different surface was definitely challenging, but I feel like I adapted very well," Azarenka said after winning the last of the first-round matches in Rome.

"I knew it wasn't going to be easy, I knew I wasn't going to play a perfect game, but it was all about trying to find the right intention of what to do. I think it worked out.

"I felt that this was a great match for me to figure it out, the first match on clay. Venus played a really good match, it was good to see her also adapting to clay, changing and trying different shots. 

"It is going to be an interesting match [against Kenin] because Sonya's been my doubles partner for the last two tournaments and we know each other quite well.

"She's a great player, she's obviously been playing exceptional this year. I feel like I'm playing all these players I've lost to before, so I'm kind of given an opportunity to redeem myself!"

Number one seed Simona Halep won 6-3 6-4 against Jasmine Paolini and will next face Dayana Yastremska, who emerged triumphant from a three-set battle against Amanda Anisimova.

Second seed and defending champion Karolina Pliskova beat fellow Czech Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-3, with Elina Svitolina and Elise Mertens also among those moving into the last 16.

There was no joy for sixth seed Belinda Bencic, though, as she was emphatically knocked out by qualifier Danka Kovinic, who earned a 6-3 6-1 win.

Shelby Rogers will face 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Top Seed Open after seeing off Leylah Fernandez.

American Rogers was too good for Fernandez, winning 6-2 7-5 at the WTA International event in Lexington on Thursday.

After cruising in the opening set, Rogers trailed 5-2 in the second before reeling off five straight games to trump the emerging Canadian teenager.

Awaiting Rogers in the last eight is countrywoman and former world number one Serena Williams, who outlasted sister Venus earlier in the day.

Serena rallied from a set down to defeat Venus 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the 31st instalment of a rivalry dating back 22 years.

Down 4-2 in the deciding set, the 38-year-old Serena fought back to vanquish Venus after two hours, 19 minutes on Center Court.

Elsewhere, Jil Teichmann stunned fifth seed Yulia Putintseva 6-2 6-2 and next meets Cici Bellis – who accounted for Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-2.

A "super relaxed" Serena Williams plans to just "see what happens" at the Top Seed Open after beating her sister Venus to reach the quarter-finals 

Serena came from a set down to defeat her older sibling 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a tight contest in Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion has been taken the distance in back-to-back matches this week in her first WTA Tour event since the season resumed following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Serena said she has no expectations of winning the tournament a fortnight before the US Open gets under way behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows.

The 38-year-old American said: "I honestly didn't come here to win for the first time in my career. I just came here to get some matches and see what happens.

"I haven't had this much time off since the baby [her daughter Olympia]. Now I'm just trying to get some rhythm and see what happens to be honest."

Serena came from 4-2 down in the final set to book a meeting with Shelby Rogers or Leylah Fernandez and the former world number one had high praise for her 40-year-old sister Venus after coming out on top for a 19th time in their 31 meetings.

"She played unbelievable," the top seed said. "Honestly, I don't know how I was able to pull it out in the end."

Serena added: "I just really tried to focus on those last two games. I am super relaxed. There's no crowd, so it kind of makes it super relaxing. And I have been practicing in a lot hotter conditions than today."

Victory for Serena came after Bianca Andreescu, her conqueror in the US Open final last year, revealed she is not ready to make her comeback in New York.

The 20-year-old Canadian has not been in competitive action since October after suffering a knee injury and said the COVID-19 crisis left her short of preparation to ensure she could fire on all cylinders at the US Open.

Serena Williams fought back from a set down to defeat sister Venus on Thursday and advance through to the quarter-finals of the Top Seed Open.

In the 31st instalment of a rivalry going back 22 years between the legendary siblings, it was tournament favourite Serena who prevailed 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Kentucky.

Serena trailed by two games in the deciding set but hit back to win a high-quality contest and set up a meeting with either Shelby Rogers or Leylah Fernandez in the next round.

Both players are this week competing for the first time since the WTA Tour season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it was Venus who started the quicker.

Serena charged into a 2-0 lead in the opening set but her older sibling won five games on the bounce to take control.

There were too many errors from Serena, and Venus made her pay, winning the first set point she manufactured courtesy of a powerful serve that the favourite could not return.

Serena, who has now won 10 of their past 12 completed encounters dating back to 2009, responded well in the second and went a break up at 4-2 before seeing out the set to level up.

After a 10-minute break in accordance with the heat rule, Serena drew first blood in the deciding set by breaking her opponent with a cross-court forehand in the third game.

Venus instantly hit back by breaking in the following game and opened up a 4-2 advantage when converting with a forehand winner in the sixth.

However, the older Williams - without a win this season - was unable to pull clear and lost two of the next three games, with Serena making the most of a double-fault to lead 5-4.

The final game went with the serve, despite the 23-time Grand Slam winner falling 30-15 behind, as Venus misfired off the forehand down the middle to settle a tight tussle.

Serena Williams will face sister Venus in the Top Seed Open second round after contrasting wins on Tuesday.

In action for the first time since the WTA Tour season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Serena edged past Bernarda Pera.

The top seed at the WTA International event, Serena recorded a 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory after being five points from defeat.

The 23-time grand slam champion raced through the final set, losing just seven points on serve to advance in Lexington.

Awaiting Serena in the second round is Venus, who was too good for Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-2.

The sisters will meet for the 31st time, with Serena holding an 18-12 win-loss record over Venus.

Sloane Stephens had endured a tough start to 2020 before the season was suspended, and the 2017 US Open champion suffered another loss.

The seventh seed was well beaten by qualifier Leylah Fernandez 6-3 6-3 to slip to a 1-6 win-loss record this year.

The only other seed in action was Yulia Putintseva, who brushed past Ajla Tomljanovic 6-0 6-4.

Coco Gauff, 16, was pushed in her opener, overcoming Caroline Dolehide 7-5 7-5.

CiCi Bellis, Shelby Rogers, Jil Teichmann, Anna Blinkova and Olga Govortsova also advanced.

Tennis had a rotten lockdown but now the professional tours are emerging from hibernation. 

The men must wait a fortnight, but in Sicily a number of leading women will, from Monday, take part in the Palermo Open, a minor clay-court event that will face scrutiny like it has never known before. 

Tennis must prove it can stage events responsibly, not least because the sport's reputation took a hit with the calamitous ad hoc Adria Tour. That event saw stars including men's world number one Novak Djokovic, whose brainchild it was, and Grigor Dimitrov hit by coronavirus. 

The ATP and the WTA, governing bodies of the men's and women's tours respectively, will apply stringent rules and demand impeccable player compliance over the coming months. 

They have already seen tennis wiped out in China for the rest of the year, on top of Wimbledon's cancellation, and can ill afford any further momentous setbacks. 

At the end of August, the US Open is due to begin at Flushing Meadows, a behind-closed-doors grand slam.

But with a number of leading players already opting out or showing reluctance to travel during the pandemic period, it would be easier to return a barrage of John Isner serves than to accurately figure how the rest of the tennis year pans out. 

Sicily for starters

Palermo organisers expected Simona Halep, the world number two and reigning Wimbledon champion, to join them, and it was with "great bitterness" that they acknowledged the news she would be staying at home in Romania. 

Halep cited rising COVID-19 cases in her home country and her own "anxieties around international air travel". 

Jelena Ostapenko, Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova were among others to pull out, with a number of factors behind the loss of a host of the event's star attractions. 

Arguably, though, the standard of the tennis in the week ahead will pale into insignificance against the success of the tournament from a health and safety perspective. 

One player tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Palermo, organisers said on Saturday, and was kept away from all others, withdrawing from the tournament. 

The eyes of the tennis world will focus on the modest ASD Country Time Club, not least because a small number of tennis fans will also be allowed entry. 

American trilogy

Can the United States, where over 150,000 have died with coronavirus, provide safe haven for the biggest stars in tennis later this month? 

Authorities are optimistic ahead of a disrupted US hard-court swing getting under way, but there can be no guarantees, despite best efforts. There are three major tournaments in the US in August, each brimming with the biggest names in the game. 

A new WTA event in Kentucky was announced in mid-July, and starts on August 10, with a field boasting Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff.  

From Kentucky, the best women's players in the world will head to New York for the Western and Southern Open, relocated to Flushing Meadows from Cincinnati this year in a move to save the tournament. 

That event, scheduled to run from August 21 to 28, is where the elite men make their re-entrance, with no ATP events scheduled until then. 

And the following week sees the US Open get under way at the same venue - all being well. 

Players will be expected to keep to their tournament bubbles throughout, tests will be carried out and players closely monitored. Any slip-ups could spell peril. 

Who's coming back? Who's not?

Halep is skipping Palermo and as of Sunday, August 2, she was not listed for the Western and Southern Open; however, she may play an event in Prague, starting on August 10. 

Given Halep's clear travel concerns, it would be little surprise were she to skip the US Open, which is a decision world number one Ash Barty has already taken. Barty's fellow Australian, Nick Kyrgios, has also chosen not to travel to the United States. 

Great Britain's Andy Murray, who appears keen to head to the States, has suggested a number of leading male players will swerve the US tournaments, yet the likes of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Dominic Thiem have entered the Western and Southern Open. 

Any of those players could still pull out, Nadal having notably expressed misgivings about international travel during lockdown. 

But will the temptation to go after another grand slam title at the US Open prove too alluring? Nadal is just one behind Roger Federer's record haul of 20 men's singles slams, with Djokovic having 17 majors to his name. 

Federer is sitting out all this drama, having undergone season-ending knee surgery. 

It comes as no surprise to see Serena Williams, one short of Margaret Court's women's record of 24 singles slams, committing fully to the weeks ahead. 

With no Barty and perhaps no Halep, Williams, who turns 39 next month, may perhaps never have a better opportunity to draw level with Court.

Wimbledon should have been getting under way on Monday and the queue would have been building all weekend long, a tented village of flag-waving, gin-swigging tennis diehards doing whatever it takes to land a prized ticket.

The practice courts would have been bustling, news conferences with the world's elite players running all day Saturday and into Sunday, and the first bumper delivery of fresh strawberries would have arrived fresh from the fields of Kent.

Elite athletes and their entourages would have been milling around the grounds, before at 10.30am on Monday morning the paying spectators would have been released from their holding bay, many racing straight to the grass bank that is officially named Aorangi Terrace but better known as Henman Hill.

And at 11.30am, the first players would have been walking on court, the championships getting under way. To be there at such a time is a delicious thrill, the waiting over, the grounds teeming, the first points being played, and the anticipation escalating as to what might unfold over the next fortnight.

Yet this year Wimbledon was all quiet across the weekend; thousands did not queue for tickets; the line painters, the stewards, and the ball boys and ball girls stayed at home; and a whole lot more strawberry jam is being produced in England this year than last.

The 2020 championships were cancelled on April 1, the only reasonable decision available to the All England Club amid the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers are already preparing for next year's return.

And from the plot lines that are already emerging, it is clear we can expect a classic Wimbledon.

A farewell to great champions?

There is the very real prospect of tennis losing a huddle of its biggest stars practically all at once, with anyone that was considering bowing out this year surely now giving the glad eye to 2021.

Roger Federer will be just weeks short of his 40th birthday by next year's Wimbledon, and the same applies to Serena Williams, whose sister Venus will already be 41.

Andy Murray will be a relatively young 34 but his body has taken a battering, the Scot desperate to play more grand slams but also realistic enough to know there may not be many left for him. He longs for another Wimbledon, maybe just one more.

Between them, that quartet have won 22 Wimbledon singles titles, and all four could choose the 2021 tournament as their opportunity to bid farewell to the All England Club.

It's going to be an emotional tournament in any case, if we are back to normal, but if there are goodbyes to be said too, the championships promise to be one packed with indelible memories, and so many tears.

The magic numbers

Serena Williams has lost each of the past two Wimbledon women's finals and has been stuck on 23 grand slams since winning the 2017 Australian Open, agonisingly one short of Margaret Court's record.

Could Wimbledon be where Williams matches or even passes Court's total? The American remains the player to beat at Wimbledon, and her hunger for grand slam success has not remotely diminished over time.

There can be little doubt she is playing not purely for the love of it, but because of the thrill of the chase, and Williams might wind up disappointed at the end of her career, still marooned one adrift.

But what a story it would be if Williams were to win another Wimbledon, the last of her thirties. Don't put anything past her.

And the race to finish as the all-time leader on the men's side keeps rolling, a devil of a duty to predict who will come out on top between Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Another Wimbledon win for any of them could take on momentous significance in that respect.

A new men's Centre Court king, at last?

The last player to win the Wimbledon's men's singles, besides the 'Big Four' of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, was Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

And while the era of those four great players dominating in SW19 has been one to treasure, seeing a new champion crowned would be rather special.

There have been nine winners of the women's singles over the same period of time, multiple champions among them but also terrific one-off stories such as Marion Bartoli's triumph, the 17-year-old Maria Sharapova's big breakthrough, Amelie Mauresmo's great achievement, and the unbridled joy of Simona Halep last year.

Certainly there is so much to admire about the quartet that have ruled the men's singles, but a little novelty feels overdue.

Those queueing up to form a new dominant group need to push themselves forward, rather than play a waiting game.

Gauff gunning for major breakthrough

Gauff gunning for major breakthrough

What a revelation Coco Gauff became last year, defeating her great hero Venus Williams and reaching the fourth round, where it took eventual champion Halep to halt the 15-year-old's run.

She dramatically followed up by reaching the third round of the US Open and then round four of the Australian Open at the start of this year.

Between those two grand slams, Gauff also landed her first WTA title, in Linz, Austria, where she became the youngest winner on tour for 15 years.

The American teenager is the real deal, that much is clear, and she has a bright future.

Gauff demonstrated wisdom beyond her years off the court in early June with a terrific, powerful address at a Black Lives Matter rally in her Florida home town of Delray Beach.

May she return many times to Wimbledon.

Wimbledon has been called off, a brutal blow to sport lovers, and its cancellation sends effects rippling through tennis.

The reality that Centre Court will lie empty through June and July will be a bitter pill to swallow not only for those with dreams of playing there for the first time, but to those who see it as a second home.

Superstars including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep and Serena Williams will feel its loss to the calendar.

Here is a look at those who may be hardest hit by the loss from the calendar of a flagship grand slam.

Serena Williams

It seemed inevitable at one stage that Williams would catch and then pass Margaret Court's record haul of 24 grand slam singles titles, but she remains infuriatingly stuck on 23 majors, and the American all-time great will be 39 years old by the time she next gets the chance to challenge at Wimbledon.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion last reigned in SW19 in 2016, and her last singles slam came at the following year's Australian Open. Agonisingly, the prospect of Williams winning another slam has been immensely hit by this lay-off. Few can handle her grass-court game.

What too of sister Venus? The five-time Wimbledon singles queen will be 41 by the time next year's Wimbledon rolls around. Has she played her last match on grass?

Roger Federer

Federer gave himself an enormous chance in last year's Wimbledon final, when he failed to take two championship points against Novak Djokovic. It left him bereft in the aftermath, but this year Federer may have been able to feed off the knowledge he had been a whisker away, and another run deep into the second week was a realistic target for the eight-time champion.

It seems unimaginable Federer might have played his final match at Wimbledon - surely he will give 2021 a shot - but hopes of adding to his 20 slams have taken a clear hit. Like Williams, he will be 39 - and pushing 40 - by the time of next year's grass-court season.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Snapping at the heels of Federer are Djokovic and Nadal, with both men bidding to leapfrog him atop the list of all-time men's slam champions: Serbian Djokovic is three behind Federer on 17, and Nadal is just one adrift of the Swiss.

Losing Wimbledon, and having no certainty the US Open and French Open will take place later in the year, may ultimately end up hurting Djokovic and Nadal more than Federer. Djokovic turns 33 in May, Nadal will be 34 in June, and it is important to remember Federer's longevity is a rare thing in tennis.

With a young generation emerging, missing out on majors and momentum at this stage of their stellar careers may make it difficult for Djokovic and Nadal to rediscover their dominant best when tennis returns. Federer's haul - a record for the men's game - may yet beyond the reach of his two greatest rivals.

Andy Murray

Two-time champion Murray made an emotional return to Wimbledon last year when he played doubles - partnering Serena Williams in the mixed. Injury had ruled the Scot out of the 2018 tournament and threatened his career, but Murray was targeting a singles slam comeback in 2020 and to have that rug pulled from beneath him is a cruel blow.

He also turns 33 in May, and Murray has already toyed with retirement. He would be forgiven for questioning whether putting himself through another year of hard graft to remain competitive is worth the physical toll.

Sloane Stephens won her first match of 2020 after prevailing at the WTA Monterrey Open, while Venus Williams' woes continued.

Stephens – the American fifth seed – ended her drought by outlasting Emma Navarro 6-4 5-7 6-1 in Monterrey on Monday.

Prior to this week, Stephens had featured in four tournaments without a win, including a first-round exit at the Australian Open.

But the 2017 US Open champion finally opened her account for the year via the WTA International event after two hours, 17 minutes.

Former world number one Williams and her winless year continued, however, following a 4-6 6-3 6-2 defeat to qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Seven-time grand slam winner Williams battled but the 39-year-old was eventually eliminated after two hours, 29 minutes on court.

Elsewhere, Wang Yafan, Rebecca Peterson, Olga Govortsova, Astra Sharma and Marie Bouzkova progressed to the second round.

Venus Williams' tough start to 2020 continued as she squandered seven match points in a first-round loss at the Mexican Open, while Sloane Stephens was also beaten.

Williams made an early exit at the Australian Open and the American veteran went down to Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in Acapulco on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old wasted seven match points during the second set before bowing out after two hours, 38 minutes.

Williams, a two-time champion of the event, also served 13 double faults as she lost a fourth straight match – a run dating back to last year.

It was a tough day for the seeds at the WTA International event, where Williams was joined by Stephens and Lauren Davis in losing.

Stephens, the top seed and 2016 champion, suffered her fourth straight loss to begin 2020, going down to Mexican wildcard Renata Zarazua 6-4 6-2.

The fourth seed, Davis was edged by fellow American Christina McHale 6-2 1-6 6-4.

The only seed to advance was Zhu Lin, while there were also wins for Sara Errani, Katie Boulter, Katie Volynets, Leylah Fernandez and Caroline Dolehide.

World number one Ash Barty was relieved to come through the "chaos" of a first day of few shocks at the Australian Open.

Home favourite and top seed Barty had to come from a set down to progress in Melbourne, beating Lesia Tsurenko 5-7 6-1 6-1.

The Queenslander ensured she joined several other big names in advancing, with defending champion Naomi Osaka triumphing along with Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova - straight-sets winners over Anastasia Potapova and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

Venus Williams did not follow her sister into round two, though, as she fell to 15-year-old Coco Gauff once again.

Gauff had already beaten fellow American Williams at Wimbledon last year and pulled off a repeat on Monday.

Sloane Stephens crashed out 2-6 7-5 6-2 to Zhang Shuai, while Barbora Strycova lost to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, but fellow seeds Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin and Ekaterina Alexandrova all advanced.

Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of the tournament, prolonged her career by easing past Kristie Ahn 6-1 6-3.


BARTY GETTING BETTER AT EACH SLAM

Barty won the French Open last season and feels she is improving with the experience of every major.

"It's always a little bit different, I think," she said. "Slams always feel like there's a lot of chaos going because there's so many people.

"It's busy with singles and doubles players, mixed players, families, coaches, everyone underneath. It's just chaos.

"When you're able to separate that from when you step on the court is when you can do a little bit better, play a little bit better, feel a little bit more comfortable.

"I feel like we've been able to do that better and better with each slam that I've played. It's an experience thing. You have to learn how to deal with it, but it's getting better."

Reflecting on her role as a home favourite and the top seed, Barty added: "I feel like I'm doing it the best way that I know how. I'm doing it with my team. We're doing it as a team.

"We're loving it. We're embracing it. There's no other way to approach it. I think we're just going along for the ride, trying to play some good tennis."


VENUS: THE SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR COCO

Seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams knows a thing or two about champions, and she expects new nemesis Gauff to go all the way to the top.

Asked if the teenager has a "champion's mentality", Williams replied: "She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age. I think the sky's the limit for her."

The veteran was impressed by Gauff's mentality, adding: "She just played very focused and put a lot of balls in the court. That's what you have to do.

"She'll play well for the rest of the event."


WOZNIACKI 'TRYING TO ENJOY THE MOMENT'

Knowing her career is coming to an end, Wozniacki acknowledged she found it difficult to keep her emotions in check.

But the 2018 champion is determined to enjoy her final days at the top of the sport.

"I feel good, having won my first match here. It's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament," she said. "There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.

"I think I'm just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don't know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while where you're like, 'Wow, this really is my last one'.

"You never know, it [could be] still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I'm just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last."

Venus Williams said she would love to play doubles with sister Serena at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year after Monday's Australian Open first-round exit.  

It was a case of deja vu for Venus, who went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to 15-year-old Coco Gauff in a rematch of 2019's memorable Wimbledon clash.

Venus was stunned by the American teenager at the All England Club last year and the 39-year-old former world number one suffered the same fate in Melbourne.

Her attention, however, turned to the Olympics after a straight-sets loss on Margaret Court Arena.

"In a perfect world, I would play every time. I love it," seven-time grand slam singles champion Venus said in her news conference.

Asked specifically about teaming up with 23-time major winner Serena Williams and whether she has discussed the prospect with her sibling, Venus replied: "I mean, in the perfect world, we'll be there.

"If I'm blessed enough to play again, that would be an amazing opportunity."

Venus has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles at Sydney 2000 and three in partnership with Serena, while she also boasts 14 women's doubles titles in slams. 

"[I've] had a lot of success in doubles," she added. "That's been a real highlight in my career."

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