Parma : , May 17 (IANS) Top seed Serena Williams of the USA launched her Emilia-Romagna Open campaign with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Italian teenaged debutant Lisa Pigato on Monday.
Serena will play Czech Republic's Katerina Siniakova, a former world No. 1 doubles player, in the second round of the clay court tournament. The world No. 68 defeated Denmark's Clara Tauson 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 25 minutes.
Serena's elder sister Venus, who had taken a wildcard into Parma following an injury-hit season, lost a gruelling three-setter to qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia 7-5, 2-6, 2-6 in two hours and 39 minutes.
Lisa Pigato, who was born in the week Serena won her sixth major title at Wimbledon 2003, put up an initial resistance. But as the match went on, Serena's accuracy on her groundstrokes and drive volleys grew, and she was able to close out the win with three consecutive unreturned serves.
"The first game, she played really good and I needed to adjust to get back," said Serena. "It was a bit of both, figuring out her game as well."