Serena Williams beat Italian teenager Lisa Pigato in Parma as a part of the American’s bid to construct up clay-court sharpness earlier than the French Open.
The 39-year-old was given a late wildcard into the occasion after dropping her first aggressive match since mid-February at last week’s Italian Open.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion wanted an hour and eight minutes to win 6-3 6-2 in opposition to 17-year-old Pigato.
“Lisa performed rather well,” Williams mentioned. “Her future is super-bright.”
Pigato was born a fortnight earlier than Williams received her sixth Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
The qualifier, ranked 572nd, broke Williams’ serve within the first sport of the match, earlier than the world quantity eight shortly discovered rhythm and asserted her authority.
“She performed actually good and I wanted to regulate to get again,” high seed Williams mentioned after her first victory on the crimson dust in 2021.
“She dealt with the second nicely, so I stay up for cheering for her sooner or later.”
Williams can be going for a record-equalling twenty fourth Grand Slam title, matching the quantity received by Australian Margaret Court docket, when the French Open begins on 30 Might.
In the meantime, British males’s quantity two Cameron Norrie arrange a second-round assembly in Lyon with US Open champion Dominic Thiem.
Norrie, who been spectacular on each onerous courts and clay this season, received 7-5 6-3 in opposition to France’s Corentin Moutet in his opening match.