The second-seeded American had little trouble Friday, putting together a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 26 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who was a semifinalist at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament last year.
Wearing the same lacy black dress that generated so much buzz after her wins this week, Williams hit six aces, and her 20 winners were twice as many as Cibulkova's total.
Williams lost in the third round at the French Open from 2007 through 2009. She hasn't reached the semifinals since 2002, when she was beaten in the final by her sister Serena.