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Joy and disappointment for Venus

This content was published 7 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Venus Williams was a winner and loser on the first day of women’s main draw action at the Italian Open. The 35-year-old, who first played here in 1998, comfortably won an all American singles match against Coco Vandeweghe 6-4 6-3.

But she was on the receiving end of defeat along with sister Serena as the pair went down 6-1 7-5 to Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik as they teamed up again for some doubles action with the Olympics later this year in mind.

“That was my first time playing against Coco,” she said. “She’s had a great year this year and last year and then just a great Fed Cup. I have hit with her a little bit at Fed Cup but not really sure what to expect. I imagine that on the clay I have a little bit more advantage, just having played more matches on clay. I think that helped a lot.

“Serena and I are definitely gearing up on our doubles. We were so excited. It’s great to get back out there.

“I haven’t played two matches in a day in a long time. But I knew what was going to happen going into it. Even if you get tired, you have to try to ignore it. I felt okay.

“I guess I don’t have to worry about it anymore this week. Hopefully I’ll have that problem for two weeks in the French. That would be an awesome problem to have.

“I just think we just didn’t play our best. That’s not typical. Usually one of us is playing well. That helps the team a lot. Two of us are playing well, it usually goes our way. I think it was kind of just one of those days.”

Britain’s Heather Watson enjoyed a notable success as she upset home favourite Sara Errani 6-4 3-6 6-0, a third straight three setter after coming through qualifying.

“I’m very pleased with how I played today,” she said. “I stuck to my game plan throughout the whole match. Even in the second set when I started to make a lot more errors, I knew that was the way to play.

“There is no point trying to outgrind her or step back. I had to be the more aggressive player today. That was the only way to win. So I was just very pleased with how I did and how I continued to execute it.

“In the conditions and her being at home on the clay court, it’s definitely very satisfying and I’m very pleased with myself. She’s a tough opponent, great player.”

Elsewhere Madison Keys got the better of Andrea Petkovic in straight sets while 10th seed Lucie Safarova won in the same manner over wildcard Franscesca Schiavone.

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