Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball to Italy's Lisa Pigato during their match at the Emilia Romagna Open tennis tournament, in Parma, Monday, May 17, 2021. Serena Williams earned her first victory in more than three months by beating 17-year-old qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Emilia-Romagna Open. Williams accepted a wild-card invitation for the Parma tournament after losing her opening match at the Italian Open last week. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)

Serena Williams posts 1st victory in more than 3 months

PARMA, Italy (AP) — Serena Williams earned her first victory in more than three months by beating 17-year-old qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 Monday in the first round of the Emilia-Romagna Open.

Williams, who accepted a wild-card invitation for the Parma tournament after losing her opening match at the Italian Open last week, dominated after dropping her serve in the opening game.

Williams hadn’t won since beating Simona Halep in the Australian Open quarterfinals in February. She was eliminated from the year’s first Grand Slam tournament by Naomi Osaka in the semifinals.

After some time off, Williams then lost in straight sets in Rome to Nadia Podoroska, a French Open semifinalist last year.

Williams is preparing for Roland Garros, which starts in two weeks.

It was the first WTA match for Pigato and the 1,001st for Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion.

Williams will next face 68th-ranked Katerina Siniakova, who eliminated Danish teenager Clara Tauson 6-1, 6-3.

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