Parma (Italy) (AFP)

Serena Williams, defeated on entering the run for the second in line at the Italian Open in Rome last week, swept the young Italian Lisa Pigato on Monday in the first round of the WTA 250 tournament in Parma, 6-3, 6-2.

Pigato, just 17 years old and 512th player in the world, was making her debut in a WTA tournament.

It was the first meeting between the two players.

The 39-year-old American was given a wild card to compete in the Parma tournament following her untimely exit to Rome, where she played her first game since losing in the Australian Open semi-finals in February .

The Rome tournament is considered to be a good warm-up on clay before Roland-Garros, which will start on May 30, especially since its table is little raised.

The youngest of the Williams sisters has significantly reduced the number of tournaments in which she participates, but has not let go of her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court's record.

© 2021 AFP