Naomi Osaka still has problems on clay-courts: the Japanese, fresh from the defeat against Karolina Muchova in Madrid, was defeated by Jessica Pegula in the second round of the Italian Open 2021. The Japanese, who does not even find the support of the first ball, and she gives up on the threshold of ninety minutes of play.
The 7-6 (2) 6-2 final is emblematic. Ashleigh Barty instead grabs the tenth victory in the last ten games on clay, thanks to a very quick 6-4 6-1 against the Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova. Veronika Kudermetova will be waiting for the world number one in the second round.
In one of the most fascinating matches of the day, Elina Svitolina manages to recover a set behind Amanda Anisimova. Still on the hunt for certainties this season after a decisively negative start. Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari both eliminated.
The Czech tennis player gives in surprisingly to Vera Zvonareva ten years after the last time. Cori Gauff, once again thanks to the third set, manages to break down the resistance of the number eighteen of the big group at the Foro Italico.
The 6-1 1-6 6-1 final was as fluctuating as it was emlematic. Garbine Muguruza risks, but passes, who needs to recover a mega-disadvantage of 0-4 during the deciding set and a partial 7-1 to dismiss the Bernarda Pera practice.
Aryna Sabalenka's problems against Sara Sorribes Tormo last a set. Three months after the defeat at Melbourne Park, Serena Williams finds herself at the Centrale del Foro Italico for the first match of 2021 on clay-courts, for the Italian Open 2021 (in Rome).
The twenty-three time Grand Slam champion, despite an all in all positive performance, she fails to break down Nadia Podoroska's resistance and even to celebrate her number thousand presence in the WTA Tour with a success.
The thirty-three unforced errors inevitably have an important specific weight. The Argentine tennis player still manages not to lose control during a jeu decisif, but above all to keep her nerve at 5-5. Having squandered a 5-2 lead, she means.
After just under two hours of play she finishes 7-6 (6) 7-5: Petra Martic in the round of 16. For Serena, the one at the Foro Italico is the second clay-courts match since May 2019.
At the Italian Open 2021, in Rome, Rafael Nadal reached the 3rd round of the tournament after the straight sets wins over Jannik Sinner, with the final score of 7-5 6-4.
In the next round Rafa will face Denis Shapovalov. The young Italian makes a rather gross mistake with the forehand on two occasions. Nadal returns with difficulty or serves at 2-2. Needless to say, he finds himself at 0-30, cancels a first break point at 30-40 with the straight-serve scheme, but above all he remains short with the backhand on the second break point.
Sinner completes the task with a high backhand volley. Nadal returns wildly to the match once again, considerably limits the number of unforced errors and gets nasty in response. He does not take advantage of a 0-40 situation in the tenth game, but at the foot of the tie break he closes the first set.
Sinner is not intimidated by the situation. And above all he uses the right side to attack with the backhand. Nadal recovers the break from behind and above all relies on a more aggressive tactical plan. Recovering the disadvantage, Nadal moves to 5-4 in an authoritarian way and thanks to a splendid straight solution at 30-30 he also gets the first match point.
The Italian cancels the second with a short winning ball and the third with a first. The Spaniard, the fourth useful chance, closes it however he exploits it with a splendid straight line solution.