Top-seed Serena Williams got the first win of the 2021 clay season at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma on Monday. The American, who took a wild card into the WTA 250 tournament after crashing out in the first round of the Rome Open last week, defeated Italian qualifier Lisa Pigato.
The world no. 8 won 6-3, 6-2 against the 17-year-old in just 68 minutes. After the match, Williams – who was asked for a selfie by the Pigato – was full of praise for her younger opponent. “Lisa played really well.
She told me she was only 17. Her future is super-bright – she handled the moment well, so I look forward to cheering for her in the future,” Williams said on-court, after her win. In the second round, the 23-time Grand Slam champion will play Katerina Siniakova.
The Czech defeated Clara Tauson in their opener 6-1, 6-3.
Emilia-Romagna Open: Contrasting fortunes for the Williams Sisters
Meanwhile, Venus Williams, who had also taken a wildcard in the event crashed out in the first round.
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova defeated the erratic 40-year-old 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 39 minutes. In the opening set, Venus had rebounded from 2-5 to take the opening set but the Slovakian didn’t allow herself to get distracted in a similar fashion across the latter two sets.
In the next round, she will play another American in the fifth-seeded Amanda Anisimova. Anisimova defeated Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-1 in their first-round clash. Seventh seed Sara Sorribes Tormo also reached the second round at the Emilia-Romagna Open.
The Spaniard defeated Bernarda Pera 6-4, 6-2 in the opener and will next face either Ana Bogdan or wildcard Sara Errani. Eighth seed Carolina Garcia also reached the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Argentine qualifier Paula Ormaechea. In the second round, Garcia will either play German qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam or Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland.