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SERENA BACK ON THE WINNING TRACK

2015-5-13


ROME, Italy - Serena Williams made a very impressive rebound from her loss to Petra Kvitova in the Mutua Madrid Open semifinals last Friday, storming past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - a former World No.13 - in straight sets in her opening match at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Tuesday night.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Rome right here on wtatennis.com!

The No.1-seeded Williams needed just 62 minutes to totally dominate Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1, 6-3, blasting 25 winners to 17 unforced errors, and she was a perfect nine for nine on net approaches.

Williams also converted an impressive five of seven break point opportunities in the match.

Though Williams saw a number of winning streaks come to an end last week - 19 straight in Madrid, 27 straight on the tour, 50 straight at Premier Mandatories - she's got another streak going in Rome. She has now won 15 straight matches in the Italian capital, a run that dates back all the way to 2010.

Williams has always loved playing in Europe, and Rome especially.

"I love Rome. I always love coming to Rome," the American said. "I have always liked playing in Europe in general. It's always been a special place for me, and I am always sad when I leave."

And despite her loss last week, by virtue of reaching the semifinals in Madrid, on this week's WTA Rankings the World No.1 crossed the 10,000-point mark for the first time in almost a year, going to 10,156 total ranking points - the last time she was above 10,000 was last year's French Open fortnight.

Two more players won second round matches, beginning with No.3 seed Maria Sharapova, who advanced past Jarmila Gajdosova, 6-2, 3-1, after the Australian retired due to a right shoulder injury.

Timea Bacsinszky also advanced, winning a close two-setter against Sabine Lisicki, 6-4, 6-3.

The first round wrapped up as well, with three seeds among those in action - No.10 seed Carla Suárez Navarro outdid Mona Barthel, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, No.12 seed Lucie Safarova rallied from 4-1 down in the third set to beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-4, and No.16 seed Jelena Jankovic held off WTA Rising Star and Italian home favorite Camila Giorgi in the last match of the night, 7-5, 7-5.

Victoria Azarenka was also a winner, beating Czech lucky loser Lucie Hradecka, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.



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