The 25-year-old Wang built a 4-2 lead in the first set, before the seven-time Grand Slam singles victor used her experience to seal the set at 6-4.
Williams, seeded 10 and three weeks shy of her 37th birthday, had to dig deep to see off her opponent who had led 4-2 in the first set and 5-3, with set points, in the second.
Makarova is now ranked 40th in the world, but she has been as high as No. 8 in the past and she reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open in 2014 and the Australian Open in 2015.
"The pressure is always there especially in the big tournaments and the Grand Slams", said Kerber, who won her first major at the Australian Open in 2016.
Kerber is not performing to the standards usually associated with the highest ranked player in the game after she won her first two Grand Slam titles at the Australian and US Opens previous year.
Puig won 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2 over Vinci in an hour and 50 minutes while the 32-year-old Argentinian made a 7-5, 6-3 and 6-4 over Mannarino.
"I'm not sure. My father did not like it that I throw my racket, I think", Kvitova replied. Kerber's loss places her game in question. I had a few chances in both sets, but I didn't make them.
"She played a good match".
Kerber, who hails from Bremen in northern Germany, was also knocked out of last year's French Open at the same stage, losing to the Netherlands' Kiki Bertens. I mean, I had big motivation, and I know that I was going to do everything I can even if I should just run from side to side to win it. American tennis great Serena Williams pulled out of the French Open after announcing her pregnancy. As the first woman to go out in the first round of French Open history is the top pick. She didn't earn a break point until the last game, which was won by Makarova.
Angelique Kerber said the other day she wanted to fall in love with clay.
"Of course, I'm disappointed that the clay-court season was not so good", Kerber said.
"I thought maybe I'd cry when I'd step on the court, but I didn't today". "Now I have to find to myself again and just try to forget the clay court season as soon as possible and then reset from the grass courts".
Action on Philippe Chatrier centre court starts with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova making her comeback after six months away from the sport spent recovering from potentially career-ending injuries sustained in fighting off a knife-wielding burglar in December.
The 27-year-old was emotional as she beat American Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2 in her first match back and the 15th seed will now be looking to kick on and improve on her current world ranking of 16th.
"I will really enjoy the time to be there".
The 15th seed thanked her family for helping her through the hard period.
Svetlana Kuznetsova, the eighth-seeded 2009 champion, survived two time warnings to make the second round by seeing off Christina McHale of the U.S. 7-5 6-4.
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There wasn't a ton of news on the men's side on Day 1.
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