PARMA, May 16, 2021 (by Lorenzo Carini)
The sun didn’t shine in Parma on Sunday, but the first edition of the Emilia-Romagna Open continued without rain. Main draw action started at the Tennis Club Parma, venue of the new WTA 250 event organized by MEF Tennis Events, with Daria Kasatkina, Amanda Anisimova and Qiang Wang winning their first-round matches over Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4, 6-3, Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-1, and Misaki Doi 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
What a debut for Lisa Pigato
Seventeen-year-old Italian Lisa Pigato, who received a wild card into the qualifying, advanced to the main draw by defeating second seed Liudmila Samsonova 2-6, 7-6, 6-3. Playing at WTA level for the first time in her career, the Milano Tennis Academy player will face Serena Williams in her main draw debut. The former World No. 1 from the United States lost to Argentinian Nadia Podoroska in Rome last week and wants to get her first win on clay eight months after her first-round victory over Kristie Ahn at Roland Garros.
Primo torneo WTA in carriera ➡️ Qualificazioni superate 🚆 La gioia e l’emozione della diciassettenne azzurra Lisa Pigato 🎙#Pigato | @ERTourism | @RegioneER | @ComuneParma | @SkySportsTennis | #EmiliaRomagnaOpen | #WTAParma pic.twitter.com/OrQ2Iq0lxg
— MEF tennis events (@meftennisevents) May 16, 2021
“It was already wonderful to receive the wild card for the qualifying, having the opportunity to face established players on the tour,” said Pigato. “Being able to play against Serena Williams is a dream.”
Russia’s Samsonova will also have the opportunity to compete in the main draw as a lucky loser following the withdrawal of Arantxa Rus.
Ormaechea is back
World No. 287 Paula Ormaechea, who was ranked inside the Top 60 in 2013, will be back playing a main draw at WTA Tour level for the first time since she played in Jurmala, Latvia in July 2019. The 28-year-old’s opponent will be No. 8 seed Caroline Garcia. The following players have also booked their spot in the main draw: Catherine McNally (6-3, 6-4 over Katarina Zavatska), Martina Di Giuseppe (7-5, 6-3 in the Italian derby against Lucia Bronzetti), Anna-Lena Friedsam (3-6, 7-5, 6-2 over Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove), and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (6-1, 6-4 over Rebecca Marino).
EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN – SUNDAY RESULTS
SINGLES Q2 – RESULTS
[Alt] Paula Ormaechea (ARG) d.  Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-2 2-6 7-5
[WC] Lisa Pigato (ITA) d.  Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 2-6 7-6(2) 6-3
 Catherine McNally (USA) d.  Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-3 6-4
 Anna-Lena-Friedsam (GER) d.  Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove (NED) 3-6 7-5 6-2
Martina Di Giuseppe (ITA) d. [WC] Lucia Bronzetti (ITA) 7-5 6-3
 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Rebecca Marino (CAN) 6-1 6-4
SINGLES R1 – RESULTS
 Daria Kasatkina (RUS) d. Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 6-4 6-3
 Amanda Anisimova (USA) d. Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-2 6-1
 Qiang Wang (CHN) d. Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2 5-7 6-1
DOUBLES R1 – RESULTS
 Alexa Guarachi (CHI)/Desirae Krawczyk (USA) d. Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO)/Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) 6-3 6-4
Makoto Ninomiya (JPN)/Zhaoxuan Yang (CHN) d. [WC] Jessica Pieri (ITA)/Bianca Turati (ITA) 6-0 6-2
 Darija Jurak (CRO)/Andreja Klepac (SLO) d. Caroline Garcia (FRA)/Ellen Perez (AUS) 6-2 7-6(5)