Sluggish Serena advances at Rome Masters

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

World number one and defending champion Serena Williams clinched a place in the third round of the Rome Masters today.

Sluggish Serena advances at Rome Masters
©

Rome:

World number one and defending champion Serena Williams clinched a place in the third round of the Rome Masters today after beating Czech Klara Koukalova 6-4, 6-3 at the Foro Italico. Given a first round bye, Williams performed way below her best but still had too much for her fellow 21 year-old Koukalova, ranked 72nd in the world. Williams, holder of all four of the Grand Slam titles - Australian, French, Wimbledon and US - will now meet the winner of the second round match between France's Natalie Dechy and South African Amanda Coetzer. Looking distinctly out of sorts, Williams started poorly and allowed Koukalova to break her in the seventh game of the opening set to go 4-3 up. But Williams responded well with her massive serve digging her out of trouble, breaking Koukalova twice to edge the first set. Williams improved in the second set as the Czech ran out of steam to complete a sluggish victory in 65 minutes. "I started slowly and she played very well," Serena admitted. "I hope I play better than that on Thursday." American Monica Seles advanced to the second round after defeating feisty Swiss 17-year-old Myriam Casanova. Winner of four Grand Slams, 29-year-old Seles rallied after losing the first set and eventually triumphed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. (PTI)

Topics : Tennis
Related Articles
Maria Sharapova Wins On Return After Ban, Says 'Best Feeling In World'
Maria Sharapova Wins On Return After Ban, Says 'Best Feeling In World'
Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal Cruises Into Second Round, Andy Murray Gets Walkover
Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal Cruises Into Second Round, Andy Murray Gets Walkover
Serena Williams Reclaims World No. 1 Spot, Celebrates With Message To Unborn Child
Serena Williams Reclaims World No. 1 Spot, Celebrates With Message To Unborn Child
Show Comments
Advertisement