Serena Wins and Says She’s No. 1 Always; Friday Rome Preview
by Jeremy Davis | May 12th, 2016, 11:47 pm

World No. 1 Serena Williams was at her best on Thursday in Rome, fighting off a set point to advance into the quarterfinals and reaffirming she’s No. 1 — even when she’s not.
Williams beat countrywoman Christina McHale 7-6(7), 6-1, setting up a quarterfinal with former world No. 2 and French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

“I feel good, because I feel like she hits a lot of balls back,” Serena said of McHale. “I wanted to get a match in like that where she gets a lot of balls back and see how I was able to do against that and see how I was physically after that, too.”

Serena says Kuznetsova will be a sterling French Open test.

“I think right now she’s probably one of the best clay court players,” Serena said. “I couldn’t ask for a better match going into Roland Garros, so this is a perfect opportunity for me, win or lose, to see where I am and get ready for what I’m ready for, which is the main event.”

Serena added that even when she is not No. 1, she is No. 1.

“In my mind I’m always No. 1, and I think I have always thought that since I have turned pro,” she said. “And in everyone else’s mind, even when I was injured they are like, ‘You’re No. 1.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ So everyone else thinks it.”

Kuznetsova is looking forward to the match and the opportunity.

“I won in Miami, but doesn’t matter,” Kuznetsova said. “Serena is No. 1. She’s playing great in any surface. She won it in any way. And it just gonna be another great match, great opportunity for me to play and to enjoy my game, and I’m looking forward to it.

“I know where I am at. I feel great on the clay. I’m doing better. I have couple days off after here to prepare my things. It’s great to play top player on clay before French. It’s amazing and it will be amazing match.”

Other seeded winners on the day were No. 3 Garbine Muguruza defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-1, 6-4, and No. 11 Timea Bacsinszky upsetting No. 8 Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.

Muguruza and Bacsinszky will next face off.

Other winners Thursday, all unseeded, were Irina-Camelia Begu topping Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-4, Japan’s Misaki Doi outlasting Johanna Konta 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, Madison Keys beating Timea Babos 7-6(2), 6-3, and Czech Barbora Strycova rolling Genie Bouchard 6-1, 6-0.

Friday’s quarterfinals in Rome are (3) Muguruza vs. (11) Bacsinszky, (1) Serena vs. (9) Kuznetsova, Begu vs. Doi, and Keys vs. Strycova.

You Might Like:
Serena Williams Admits She’s Never Sang Karaoke To RedFoo
What Knee Injury! Serena Williams Says Her Body Is Feeling Great Ahead Of Her Australian Open Defense
Serena Holds Hand Up in Tiebreak, Says She’s Not Like Justine [Video]
Serena Williams On Sister Venus: She’s Always Been Very Mature And Very Regal
Serena Williams Declares She Has No Boyfriend, She’s Single!

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

8 Comments for Serena Wins and Says She’s No. 1 Always; Friday Rome Preview

BBB Says:

I cringe when she says stuff like this.

Why is Tennis Channel not showing the Muguruza match?

jalep Says:

Tennis Channel says: You can watch all the WTA you want this week if you just buy Tennis Channel Plus. That’s their plug this week.

Pretty sure the only WTA match they’ll show today is Serena’s.

Nice to see Garbine Muguruza make the SF. Congrats Irina Begu, too!

Van Persie Says:

Congrats to Irina! Wiuld like to see her play against Serena. They do not have a H2H atm

Van Persie Says:


jalep Says:

My guess is that Serena will beat Svetlana today, VP. Revenge for Miami! Irina should get her chance.

Barbora Strycova – can’t believe her 2016!

Van Persie Says:

yep, Strycova improved this year

RZ Says:

I read via Twitter that the Muguruza-Bascinsky match was excellent – lots of great shots covering the whole court.

BBB Says:

Thanks jalep. Absurd.

Top story: ATP Won't Strip Ranking Points From UK Tournaments; Greenlights Future Bans