World number one Serena Williams successfully defended the Premier Mandatory Internazionali BNL d’Italia title on Sunday after defeating injured Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0. This is the American’s 60th career title and she’s the first player so far this season to win three titles.
Williams won the Italian Open thrice, in 2002 and 2013 and this year, in her past victories (2002, 2013), she would go on to win the Roland Garros title. Will she be able to achieve once more this year?
“Sara played really well in the first set. She was doing everything right and I could tell she had obviously improved since our last meeting in Paris last year,” Williams said. “It was unfortunate she got injured in the last game of the set, but overall I thought she was playing really well out there.
“Today gave me a great opportunity to understand the atmosphere I’ll have in Paris, too. It was a great opportunity for me. Paris is a Grand Slam and you think differently, you have a little more nerves, everyone’s uptight and excited, the crowd is different, and energy levels can be different too.”
The injury definitely hampered Errani’s play on Sunday. Following her loss to Williams, Errani had to pull out of the doubles final while they were trailing 0-4 to fourth-seeds Kveta Pesche and Katarina Srebotnik.