Sara Sorribes Tormo played – and won – the longest match of the year at the Rome Open on the opening day of play on Monday. The Spaniard defeated Italian Camila Giorgi 7-6(4), 6-7(7), 7-5 after three hours and 51 minutes of play.
In the second round, Sorribes Tormo will play seventh seed and Mutua Madrid Open champion Aryna Sabalenka. Maria Sakkari, the 17th seed, also played a near-three-hour-long match against Polona Hercog before making her way into the second round.
The Greek came through 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 against the Slovenian qualifier. In the round-of-32, Sakkari will play Coco Gauff. The American defeated Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 57 minutes.
Rome Open: Seeded players safely pass ahead
Iga Swiatek made it through to the second round as well after her first-round opponent Alison Riske retired mid-match with an injury.
At the time of the American’s retirement, the Polish 15th seed was leading 5-4 in the opening set. In the second round, Swiatek could play either Karolina Muchova or Madison Keys. Jennifer Brady was also among the seeds who advanced into the second round.
The American posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Shuai Zhang of China in an hour and 16 minutes. In the second round, Brady will play Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Russian defeated Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 15 minutes.
Petra Kvitova was the last seeded player to reach the second round in the Italian capital on Monday. The Czech won a topsy-turvy match in an hour and 35 minutes. Kvitova dropped the opening set but made an equally strong turnaround to clinch a 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 win.
Speaking after her win, the southpaw said, “The first set I started very badly. I was missing almost everything. On the court... [the ball] was bouncing everywhere as well. A little bit windy. I just had to use to probably everything.
The beginning of the second set when finally, I held my serve and broke her serve, I think since then it was much, much better”. Up next for Petra Kvitova at the Rome Open will be Vera Zvonareva. The Russian qualifier posted a 6-3, 6-0 win over American qualifier Christina McHale in their first-round clash.