Serena Williams earned her first victory in additional than three months by beating 17-year-old qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 on Monday within the first spherical of the Emilia-Romagna Open.
Williams, who accepted a wild-card invitation for the Parma match after dropping her opening match on the Italian Open final week, dominated after dropping her serve within the opening recreation.
“I am simply beginning to really feel extra comfy. I’ve at all times felt tremendous comfy on the clay and this 12 months has been a bit of harder than regular,” mentioned Williams, who served six aces. “I feel it was due to the lengthy hiatus I’ve had (from) the clay.”
Williams hadn’t received since beating Simona Halep within the Australian Open quarterfinals in February. She was eradicated from the 12 months’s first Grand Slam match by Naomi Osaka within the semifinals.
After a while off, Williams then misplaced in straight units in Rome to Nadia Podoroska, a French Open semifinalist final 12 months. Williams is getting ready for Roland Garros, which begins in two weeks. Her earlier win on clay got here within the first spherical of final 12 months’s match in Paris.
It was the primary WTA match for Pigato and the 1001st for Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion. Pigato requested Williams to pose for a photograph together with her on courtroom instantly after the match ended.
“It was actually cool and gutsy,” Williams mentioned. “She’s going to look again (in) years and be like, ‘Nicely, this was my first skilled tennis match.’ I want I had finished that with my first match, it might have been actually cool.”
Ranked No. 572, Pigato received the women’ doubles title finally 12 months’s French Open with Eleonora Alvisi. Williams will subsequent face 68th-ranked Katerina Siniakova, who eradicated Danish teenager Clara Tauson 6-1, 6-3. Additionally, former US Open champion Sloane Stephens beat Catherine McNally 7-6 (4), 6-4.