Serena Makes Winning Start On Clay In Rome; Petra Kvitova-Madison Keys Wednesday
by Staff | May 10th, 2016, 10:46 pm

Serena Williams opened her 2016 clay season with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over German Anna-Lena Friedsam Tuesday at the Rome Masters.

After injuries, Rome is just Serena’s fourth event of the year, and she’s still seeking he first title since Cincinnati last summer.

“I was really happy with my level,” Serena said. “I think I was really consistent. I think I was mentally consistent. I started out fast. Those are some of the things I wanted to work on [and] I was really happy about that.”

2015 finalist Carla Suarez Navarro also joined Serena in the third round with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Brazilian Teliana Pereira.

Other winners on the day were Sam Stosur who saved a match point to beat Alison Riske. Timea Bacsinszky toppled Yanina Wickmayer in a match-up of former Grand Slam semifinalists.

Svetlana Kuznetsova ousted Caroline Garcia and Daria Garvilona knocked out Sabine Lisicki.

In the match of the day, Eugenie Bouchard edged Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

“I think I’m still on that journey of trying to, you know, be the best player I can be,” Bouchard said. “I feel like I have been working hard every single day, and I feel like I have good guidance, I’m on the right path.

“So I think it’s just making sure I still continue to believe in myself, and, you know, trusting that if I do all the right things, if I work hard, if I have the talent, if I have good guidance, you know, one day it has to come.”

The Wednesday schedule includes Petra Kvitova against Madison Keys, Italian favorite Roberta Vinci vs. British No. 1 Johanna Konta and the debut of Madrid champion Simona Halep who faces Gavrilova.

Kvitova, who has been dealing with injuries throughout the season, is just hoping not to hurt herself again.

“My goal is not to hurt myself,” Kvitova said. “Not really to be injured again. That’s the main thing.

“I know I’m missing the practices, but I’m here to do my best again and we’ll see how everything will handle it. Of course Paris is coming, and it’s still week between, which is good. We’ll see how everything is going but no expectations really here.”

Venus Williams also returns against Timea Babos and Ana Ivanovic matches-up with Christina McHale. Angelique Kerber collides with Bouchard and Victoria Azarenka is also on court.

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19 Comments for Serena Makes Winning Start On Clay In Rome; Petra Kvitova-Madison Keys Wednesday

Van Persie Says:

Big congrats to Irina Begu!!
She just beat Azarenka. 6-3, 6-2. Wow

Van Persie Says:

Go Angie!

Van Persie Says:

Angie is out.
Good luck to Simona and Misaki.

jalep Says:

That’s crazy, VP! Angie out to Genie Bouchard.

Genie has coach Saviano back in her camp – the guy who helped her go so far in 2014. She can be dangerous competitor – definitely a physical talent, Genie – just not too sure about her mental fortitude since her initial great results a couple years ago.

jalep Says:

Wish I could watch Halep-Gavrilova. Dasha has been on a mini hot streak recently. Go Simona!

Van Persie Says:

Me too, Jalep. Tbh, I have the feeling that Gavrilova wins

RZ Says:

Bouchard is having some nice results here. The true start of her comeback?

jalep Says:

I suspect it could be for Genie — RZ.

WTA young guns = class of 97′. Bencic, Kasatkina, Ostapenko, Konjuh. Nice to see Kasatkina and Ostapenko got wins today. For Ostapenko – that’s an especially impressive win over Monica Puig! 61 61.

Hope Bencic will be ready to play FO.

Bacsinszky and Strycova are the energizer bunnies this season!

Score looks like Simona is on her way out – unless a miracle.

RZ Says:

Puig never really got her game going. Seemed like she was going to be a top prospect as well.

jalep Says:

I’ve been following Monica’s progress this season – she’s getting good results. I like her and expected her to beat Ostapenko on clay. Maybe Puig is a bit over-played recently.

I know Vika’s back is still an issue — not to detract from Irina Begu’s win; Begu has been hot lately.

Speaking of hot – Johanna Konta! Poor Italian fans tho — she beat Roberta Vinci.

Really looking forward to FO. It’s going to be fun. Hope Laura Siegemund will be back ready to go!

Margot Says:

Goodness me, Gavrilova puts up a helluva scrap and out goes Halep :(
First Kerber, now Halep. Whose next?

jalep Says:

Kvitova? hope not!

Margot Says:

:( Ooooooh no, if that happens it’d be three of my favourites.

Van Persie Says:

Yaay. Misaki made it. She is so tiny, but so talented :)

Van Persie Says:

Simona is for me the female version of Nishikori. Talented, but fragile

Margot Says:

And upon my word out goes Petra now! She is an infuriating player to support, blows hot and cold all the time. Like scrambled egg, when properly cooked, she is sublime, but when not :(
Like Keys tho., so cool, calm and collected and what a serve!

chrisford1 Says:

Gavrilova doing her best to lock down her spot on the Australian Olympic team.
Keys may be ousting Venus, properly, from any consideration for US Olympic singles.

BBB Says:

Thanks for that Jalep. IIRC, Bouchard got rid of a lot of people around the time she got successful. At least she has the presence to recognize where she may have made a mistake.

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