I have to mention that Serena Williams – remember her? – is back. The last time we saw Serena on a tennis court (she’s appeared elsewhere) she was winning the Australian Open in fine style.
Since the title Down Under she’s battled knee problems which have kept her out of competition until today. As the top seed in Rome Serena beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-6, 6-1
“I went in there thinking I can win or I can lose. You never know what can happen and I didn’t put too much pressure on myself,” Williams said. “I got off to a slow start but I was able to fight it off. I thought she played excellently to be honest. I just had to pick up the level of my game.”
Serena was actually losing in the first set 4-1, and then faced three set points down 5-4 before rallying.
Sister Venus was also a winner along with Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic. Also of note, Ana Ivanovic snapped out of a free fall with her best win of the year defeating Victoria Azarenka.
And former No. 1 Dinara Safina continues to struggle in her return from back problems. The Russian was defeated Alexandra Dulgheru 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1.
“Obviously this was very disappointing,” Safina declared. “The third set was particularly difficult. After winning the second set, I was 5-0 down in a second. I don’t know if I was over-hitting or over-waiting. I don’t think I was moving my feet enough. I’m going to watch this match on video. I think the only good thing about this match was that my back didn’t create any problems.”
The Belgians Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters are not playing this week. Henin is resting (I think) while Clijsters has a torn muscle in her left foot that could keep her out of the French Open.
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