Serena Williams, taking part in the a thousandth WTA match of her profession, crashed out of the Italian Open on Wednesday with a second spherical defeat to Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska, weeks earlier than her bid to make historical past at Roland Garros.
Williams, 39, misplaced 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 on her return after almost three months away to a participant 15 years her junior who was a shock semi-finalist finally 12 months’s Roland Garros.
“You realize, it’s robust to have a primary match on clay,” mentioned Williams, who has received 73 WTA titles over the previous twenty years.
“It was positively type of good to go the space and to attempt to be on the market, however clearly I can do legions higher.
“Perhaps I do want a couple of extra matches, so I’m going to attempt to determine that out with my coach and my staff and see what we wish to do.”
Williams, a four-time Rome winner and 23-time Grand Slam champion, had not performed since her semi-final defeat to Japan’s Naomi Osaka within the Australian Open this 12 months.
And the eighth seed discovered it robust going, shedding in just below two hours to the Forty fourth-ranked Argentine.
“Total, it was good for me to play such a clay courtroom participant on clay at the moment, however it’s a little bit irritating,” she conceded.
“Yeah, simply filling out the sport, discovering the rhythm. Even sliding and confidence with that, with motion, and simply not wanting to interrupt my ankle after I moved.
“That’s at all times like a little bit wrestle within the first two matches, after which I’m raring to go.”
The early exit is a blow three weeks earlier than the French Open in Paris on Might 30 the place the American continues her bid to equal Australia’s Margaret Courtroom’s report of 24 Grand Slam trophies.
Regardless of a battling efficiency Williams couldn’t put on down the 24-year-old who broke twice within the first set.
Podoroska compelled a tie-break with an ace and squandered three set factors earlier than sealing the set.
Within the second, Williams was trailing 5-2 however held and broke the Argentine to like whereas she served for the match to degree at 5-5.