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Serena eases to victory in Rome return

AFP  |  Rome 

made a winning return from beating Swedish 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Italian Open clay-court tournament on Monday.

Williams, 37, has not played since a hard-fought three-set win over Petersen in the second round at in March before withdrawing with a

The 23-time winner -- now ranked 11th -- also withdrew from Indian Wells in March complaining through

Watched by her husband Alexis Ohanian, Williams doubled faulted on her first match point but sealed victory on her second against her 58th-ranked opponent.

A four-time Rome winner Williams last won on the red clay of at the in 2016.

She will play either her older sister Venus, who received a wild card entry to the tournament she won in 1999, or Belgian in the second round.

Should Serena and meet in Rome, it will be their first meeting on European clay in nearly 17 years.

Their last meeting on red clay came at final.

is preparing for later this month where she could match Margaret Court's record of major singles titles.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 21:01 IST