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
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