Rome Open 2021: Serena Williams outplayed on her landmark 1,000th game by Nadia Podoroska
Serena Williams is a legendary tennis player who hails from the United States of America and holds the record of winning 23 Grand Slams in the Open Era. She is currently ranked eighth in the WTA singles rankings.
Legendary women tennis player from the United States of America, Serena Williams, did not have the perfect start to her clay-court season. Playing her landmark 1,000th game in her professional tennis career, she ended up losing to Nadia Podoroska of Argentina in her opening round of Rome Open 2021 on Wednesday.
It turned out to be a straight-set defeat (7-6, 7-5) for the eighth-ranked American. The 45th ranked Argentine broke Serena twice in the opening set before the latter bounced back, while the former led 6-3 in the tie-breaker.
In the second set, Podoroska's winner-to-unforced error rose to 14, while Serena hit 22 winners, along with 19 unforced errors. Nonetheless, the Argentine held her nerves and secured the decisive break in the final game to send the American backpacking.
"It's a special win. [To] play against her, it's an honour for me. I saw her playing when I grew up, so it was a special match for me. But, most of all, I'm happy with the way I played. I felt again comfortable on clay, on my game, and that's most important for me. I think it was a very good match, high level. I knew that I have to play every point, fight for every ball. She didn't play a tournament for a while, so I knew that maybe she did too many mistakes at the beginning, or I have to push her to do them. But, I think I played a great match," said Podoroska after the game.
"It's tough to have a first match on clay. It was definitely kind of good to go the distance and to try to be out there, but clearly, I can do legions better. She has a good game, for sure, obviously. She's very consistent. Overall, it was good for me to play such a clay court player on clay today, but it's a little frustrating. But, it's all right. It is what it is," reckoned Serena, following her loss.
"I have been training for months, but it feels definitely different on clay to make that last adjustment. Just filling out the game, finding the rhythm. Even sliding and confidence with that, with movement... That's always like a little struggle in the first two matches, and then I'm raring to go," Serena concluded.
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