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Venus Williams makes winning start at Italian Open

Venus Williams makes winning start at Italian Open

Venus Williams battled past Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in her opening match Monday at the Italian Open.
Williams appeared in control of the match in the first set, firing eight aces and as many winners in 28 minutes. But as her service levels dropped and Safarova started playing her powerful groundstrokes deeper, Williams was broken in the third game of the second set and was unable to break back. Safarova served out the set for 6-4.
In the deciding set, the fourth-seeded Williams held serve in a crucial third game after saving four break points. She went on to break in the following game, as a forehand by the 22-year-old Czech player went wide, and then again to close out the match after 1 hour and 48 minutes.
It was a second-round match as the top eight seeds have first-round byes in this warmup for the French Open, which begins in three weeks' time.
Williams had beaten Safarova, currently ranked 49 in the world, in straight sets in their only previous match in 2006, which was also played in Rome. The American won this clay-court event in 1999.


Updated : 2021-06-20 23:03 GMT+08:00