Serena Williams was defeated by Nadia Podoroska at the Italian Open 2021 second round. The American played a good match, but noo managed to successfully celebrate the number one attendance on the WTA Tour. However, it must be remembered that for Serena, the match in Rome with Podoroska was the second match on clay-courts since May 2019.
In view of Roland Garros 2021, Serena is making several considerations, such as playing other matches on clay-courts. She said it in the interview after the match: "The first clay court match is always very difficult.
I'll talk to my team, I may need to play a few more games. It's not easy to train for weeks and find immediately rhythm in the first match. I encountered some difficulties, especially when moving around. I certainly didn't want to break my ankles!
In a way it was positive to face a player from clay immediately, on the other it was a bit frustrating. just a matter of time."
The other matches in the second round in Rome
Naomi Osaka was defeated by Jessica Pegula for 7-6 (2) 6-2.
Ashleigh Barty instead grabs the tenth victory in the last ten games on clay, thanks to a very quick 6-4 6-1 against the Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova. Elina Svitolina manages to recover a set behind Amanda Anisimova. Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari both eliminated.
Cori Gauff, once again thanks to the third set, manages to break down the resistance of the number eighteen of the big group at the Foro Italico. Garbine Muguruza risks, but passes, who needs to recover a disadvantage of 0-4 during the deciding set and a partial 7-1 to dismiss the Bernarda Pera's challenge.
Rafael Nadal reached the 3rd round of the tournament after the straight sets wins over Jannik Sinner, with the final score of 7-5 6-4. In the next round Rafa will face Denis Shapovalov. The young Italian makes a rather gross mistake with the forehand on two occasions.
Nadal returns with difficulty or serves at 2-2. Needless to say, he finds himself at 0-30, cancels a first break point at 30-40 with the straight-serve scheme, but above all he remains short with the backhand on the second break point.
Sinner completes the task with a high backhand volley. Nadal returns wildly to the match once again, considerably limits the number of unforced errors and gets nasty in response. He does not take advantage of a 0-40 situation in the tenth game, but at the foot of the tie break he closes the first set.
Sinner is not intimidated by the situation. And above all he uses the right side to attack with the backhand. Nadal recovers the break from behind and above all relies on a more aggressive tactical plan. Recovering the disadvantage, Nadal moves to 5-4 in an authoritarian way and thanks to a splendid straight solution at 30-30 he also gets the first match point.
The Italian cancels the second with a short winning ball and the third with a first. The Spaniard, the fourth useful chance, closes it however he exploits it with a splendid straight line solution.