Rome Memories: Serena Williams, the Queen of Rome


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Rome Memories: Serena Williams, the Queen of Rome

Serena Williams won the title four times at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, in a span of almost 20 years. The American was one of the stars of the Italian tournament and one of the most successful tennis players in Rome, after Chris Evert (who holds the record in Rome with five titles).

The ancient and prestigious tournament on the Rome clay-courts has an important and glorious history, which has lasted since 1930, the year of its first edition won by Lilí de Álvarez in the final against Lucia Valerio.

Serena won the tournament for the first time in 2002. That season she duelled against Justine Henin in the final, winning the title with the final score of 7-6, 6-4. The American champion came back to winning the trophy in Rome after 11 years: in 2013 she challenged Victoria Azarenka to the final, winning with the score of 6-1, 6-3.

The following year, in 2014, Serena faced the home player Sara Errani. She won her third title by beating the Italian 6-3, 6-0. Williams' last Italian Open title in 2016, beating her countrywoman Madison Keys in straight sets, for 7-6(5), 6-3.

Serena Williams did not play any other finals in Rome: her score remains immaculate, with four wins in four finals played, always against a different opponent, and in different phases of her glorious career. This is one of the memories of past days as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the season's suspension over time.

The tournament will not be relocated this season, but it will be played directly in 2021, not following the line of other events such as the French Open that has been rescheduled for the second half of 2020, after the US Open.