PARMA, May 17, 2021 (by Lorenzo Carini)
The third day of the Emilia-Romagna Open came to an end after almost ten hours of tennis at the Tennis Club Parma, where the new WTA 250 event is being held this week. The tournament is played behind closed doors due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, but has given lots of emotions to the few people on the stands (only press, umpires, staff and club members are allowed to watch the matches).
Good start for Serena Williams
Five days after her loss to Nadia Podoroska in Rome, Serena Williams got back on court in Parma. The former World No. 1 from the United States and top seed in Parma won in straight sets against Italian underdog Lisa Pigato, who made her debut in a WTA main draw after having beaten Leonie Kung and Liudmila Samsonova in the qualifying. After conceding a break in the first game of the match, Williams became much more aggressive and secured a 6-3, 6-2 win in one hour and eight minutes.
— MEF tennis events (@meftennisevents) May 17, 2021
“Lisa played really well,” Williams said in her on-court interview. “She told me she was only 17. Her future is super-bright – she handled the moment well, so I look forward to cheering for her in the future.”
In the second round, Williams will face Katerina Siniakova for the first time. The Czech opened her Parma campaign with a 6-1, 6-3 over Clara Tauson.
Schmiedlova upsets Venus Williams
Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova secured the “win of the day”. A few minutes after her sister Serena, Venus Williams made her unfortunate debut on Centre Court as she lost against to the World No. 125 in more than two hours 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. The American lost to Schmiedlova for the fourth time in five matches. Schmiedlova’s next opponent will be No. 5 seed Amanda Anisimova.
Di Giuseppe & Giorgi: Italian power at home
Martina Di Giuseppe, born in 1991 and current World No. 218 won the fourth WTA match of her career and secured a place in Top 200 when the new WTA Rankings will be release. Qualifier “DiGiu” (as she’s called by mates and her coach) recorded her second win against a Top 100 player as she defeated Japanese World No. 84 Nao Hibino 7-5, 7-6 to play Chinese Qiang Wang in the second round.
Camila Giorgi, coached by her father Sergio and followed by Billie Jean King Cup’s Captain Tathiana Garbin, lost the first set in a tie-break against Christina McHale 7-4 but then won the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 ending the match in two hours and 52 minutes.
Tuesday in Parma: Serena again, it’s time for Martic!
Tennis will be back in Parma on Tuesday starting at 11 am local time with all remaining first-round singles matches to be played. Second-round matches are also part of the schedule. Serena Williams will play in the afternoon against Siniakova. No. 2 seed Petra Martic will open Centre Court action. The Croatian practiced today together with her new coach Francesca Schiavone. Sara Errani will face Ana Bogdan followed by Giulia Gatto-Monticone making her debut in Parma against lucky loser Samsonova.
Petra Martic 🇭🇷 – No. 2 seed at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma – out for practice, hitting with Francesca Schiavone 🇮🇹
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) May 17, 2021
SINGLES R1 – RESULTS
[1/WC] Serena Williams (USA) d. [Q] Lisa Pigato (ITA) 6-3 6-2
[Q] Martina Di Giuseppe (ITA) d. Nao Hibino (JPN) 7-5 7-6(5)
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) d. Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-1 6-3
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. [Q] Catherine McNally (USA) 7-6(4) 6-4
[Q] Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. [WC] Venus Williams (USA) 5-7 6-2 6-2
 Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. [Q] Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 6-4 6-4
Camila Giorgi (ITA) d. Christina McHale (USA) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4
 Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-4 6-2
DOUBLES R1 – RESULTS
Eden Silva (GBR)/Kimberley Zimmermann (BEL) d. Kaitlyn Christian (USA)/Sabrina Santamaria (USA) 6-4 7-5
 Misaki Doi (JPN)/Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) d. [WC] Nuria Brancaccio (ITA)/Lisa Pigato (ITA) 6-4 6-0
 Cori Gauff (USA)/Catherine McNally (USA) d. Vivian Heisen (GER)/Yafan Wang (CHN) 6-2 6-0