Our compatriot went in the opening round in three sets down against the 38-year-old veterane Venus Williams (WTA 50), who received a wildcard for the tournament: 7-5, 3-6 and 7-6 (7/4) after 3 hours and 3 minutes. In the tiebreak of the third set, muttered our compatriot still firmly against and she knew no less than eight match balls. The ninth was too much and so ran the Belgian number one yet again against a defeat on clay, and that two weeks before the start of Roland Garros.
For Venus wait a zusterduel with Serena in the sixteenth-finals. Serena Williams (WTA 11) missed her seizoensdebuut on the gravel. The 39-fold grandslamkampioene (23 enkeltitels) qualified easily for the second round after a win in two short sets (6-4, 6-2) against the Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson (WTA 64).
The 37-year-old Serena is the tenth seed in Rome. She plays there for the first time since 2016, when they made the tournament for the fourth time won (after 2002, 2013 and 2014).