Italian Open

Serena Williams opens clay season with routine win in Rome


Williams fell behind 3-1 in the first set but then began to take control with her baseline power on a windy day at the Foro Italico.


When Williams ran down a passing attempt from Peterson and replied with a cross-court winner to break for a 5-2 lead in the second set, she let out a scream and bent over as she pumped both of her fists.


Williams was playing for the first time since withdrawing ahead of her third-round match at the Miami Open in March because of a left knee injury.


The last time Williams had played in Rome was when she won the last of her four Italian Open trophies in 2016.


In men’s action, 13th-seeded Borna Coric rallied past Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of two of the top young players on tour.


Others advancing on the women’s side included Dominika Cibulkova, Katerina Siniakova and Yulia Putintseva.






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