It's Serena v Venus at Italian Open

Ross Houston
May 16, 2019

Serena, a four-time victor in Italy's capital, beat Sweden's Rebecca Peterson 6-4, 6-2 at Foro Italico.

Williams finished with 28 winners to Peterson's eight and committed only two more unforced errors than the 58th-ranked Swede, 22-20.

Either side of Williams pulling out of her scheduled second-round match with sister Venus due to an ongoing left knee problem, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Ostapenko were each forced to call an early halt to their respective contests in Rome. The last time Williams played in Rome was in 2016 when she won the last of her four Italian Open trophies.

She could yet meet Jo Konta, providing the younger sibling comes through one of those awkward matches against sister Venus that is her second round match-up.

Norrie also emerged from the preliminaries, and scored his third win in three days when he overcame Australian John Millman 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. 'It's been very bad. I've been working as hard as I could keeping up my cardio as much as I could with a knee injury'. "We both really want to get some match play. When you're sedentary, it becomes hard to manage your body", Williams told The Times.

Should Serena and Venus meet in Rome, it will be their first meeting on European clay in almost 17 years.

"So you have to eat grass. But it worked and paid off", Williams said. I feel like I'm taking it one day at a time.

Dominika Cibulkova defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 30 minutes, losing serve only once and controlling the pace of the match with five breaks of serve that propelled her over the top with a break in the ninth game of the second set.

In the meantime she has been enjoying sharing her favourite sites in Rome with her daughter Olimpia who turns two in September.

He now faces tough Croatian Borna Coric, the number thirteen seed, while Konta's latest win earned her a shot at 2018 Paris finalist Sloane Stephens. "I was out much longer than I expected", Williams said. Obviously the pasta and the food.

"It's really fun because I took her to the Colosseum, then I took her to the (Trevi) fountain", she said.

Former world number four Dominika Cibulkova, won her match 6-2, 6-3 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and next meets US Open and Australian Open victor Naomi Osaka of Japan.

In the final game, Serena served two aces and saved two break points before closing out the first-round match.

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