It has been a rocky start to the clay-court season for Serena Williams. After a first round defeat in the Italian Open, Williams lost 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the second round of the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma.
After losing to Nadia Podoroska in her first match in Rome last week, Williams was looking to get some matches under her belt on the red dirt. The former world number one took a wild card into the tournament. While it was a huge blow for Serena, it was an emotional moment for her opponent Katerina Siniakova.
“It was a pleasure to share the court with her!”
An emotional @K_Siniakova reacts to her victory over No.1 seed Serena Williams.#EmiliaRomagnaOpen pic.twitter.com/SIvEnCApE9
— wta (@WTA) May 18, 2021
Williams managed her first win on clay in the opening round against Lisa Pigato but Siniakova proved too strong. Serena did have a set point in the first set, but the 68th-ranked Siniakova held her nerve and went on to win the tie-breaker. It was an emotional victory for the 25-year-old Czech.
In her on-court interview, Siniakova said: “I feel amazing. It was a fantastic match. I played so good. I’m so happy that I could finish it like this. It was really a pleasure to share with her the court.”
Serena Williams preparations for the French Open suffers another blow
The three-time French Open champion does look vulnerable at the moment. It has been over four years since Serena last won a Grand Slam in Australia. At 39, things do not get easier for the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
The hunt for the 24th Grand Slam continues which would take her to the top of the all-time list, tied with Margaret Court. With time not on her side, Serena Williams will need all the confidence she can get as she tries to win her first Grand Slam since she was pregnant with daughter Olympia.
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