Serena rolls to 1st victory since Aussie Open

PARMA, Italy — Serena Williams earned her first victory in additional than three months by beating 17-year-old qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 Monday within the first spherical of the Emilia-Romagna Open.

Williams, who accepted a wild-card invitation for the Parma event 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 snug. I’ve at all times felt tremendous snug on the clay and this 12 months has been somewhat harder than regular,” stated Williams, who served six aces. “I believe it was due to the lengthy hiatus I’ve had (from) the clay.”

Williams hadn’t gained since beating Simona Halep within the Australian Open quarterfinals in February. She was eradicated from the 12 months’s first Grand Slam event 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 making 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 event in Paris.

It was the primary WTA tour match for Pigato and the 1,001st for Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion.

Pigato requested Williams to pose for a photograph together with her on court docket instantly after the match ended.

“It was actually cool and gutsy,” Williams stated. “She’s going to look again (in) years and be like, ‘Effectively, this was my first match.’ I want I had accomplished that with my first match, it could have been actually cool.”

Ranked No. 572, Pigato gained 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 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens beat Catherine McNally 7-6 (4), 6-4 and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova rallied previous Venus Williams 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

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