Williams won the match 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the second round. She won 12 of the last 13 games in the match to advance to the round of 64. Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, with her last French Open title coming in 2015.
"Those Serena Williams pep talks are really tough," Williams told the Tennis Channel. "I didn't play great in this match. It is what it is. I'm happy I got through it and I knew it couldn't go worse."
Monday's triumph was Williams' 800th career main draw win. She faces Japan's Kurumi Nara or Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic in the next round for a spot in the final 32.
Williams also made a fashion statement on Monday, sporting a zebra print ensemble with the French words for "mother, champion, queen and goddess" printed on it.
"Let the Roland Garros begin," Williams wrote on Instagram, including a picture of herself in the outfit. "Here is my French Open look designed by Virgil Abloh and Nike."
The wardrobe choice comes a year after Williams wore a catsuit in the 2018 French Open, resulting in critical comments from tournament officials.
"I believe we have sometimes gone too far," French Open president Bernard Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine in 2018. "Serena's outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."
Williams is ranked No. 10 in the world.