Match reports

Serena cruises on Rome return

This content was published 5 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Serena Williams eased to a straight sets victory on her return to competitive action at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, overcoming qualifier Rebecca Peterson 6-4 6-2 in her first round match.

Williams, the No. 10 seed, is back at the Foro Italico for the first time since her title-winning run in 2016 and was back on the match court for the first time since Miami having had an enforced break due to a knee injury.

“It felt good to be back in the match. It’s been a while. I haven’t played a ton of matches this year. Not my choice, just by force. I really, really actually desperately wanted to be on the tour and to be playing, but it hasn’t been able to work out,” said Williams. “It felt good to finally be back out. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.”

Williams battled back from 1-3 down in the first set, winning five out of six games to take the opener, before breaking twice in the second to record a one hour 16 minutes victory over the Swede in the second match on Court Centrale.

“I actually haven’t been able to train or practice a lot. I was out much longer than I expected but I, you know, did everything I could to stay fit and to keep my cardio up. I knew that I love the clay season and I wanted to be a part of it. I literally did everything that I could, and I’m here,” explained the four-time Italian Open champion.

Next up for Williams, as she looks to extend her winning streak in Rome to seven matches, will be either her sister Venus or Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

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