While she did not have the most ideal of starts at the China Open, Serena Williams overcame her first round opponent to set up a second round match-up against Tsvetana Pironkova. This marks the third time that these two competitors will meet on the WTA tour, with Williams leading the series 2-0.
Following her bizarre retirement in Wuhan, where she lost to Alize Cornet after being unable to resume the match at 6-5 up in the opening set, Serena Williams rebounded with a good showing in her Beijing opener against qualifier Sílvia Soler-Espinosa. After working her way through a tough opening set, Williams maintained the momentum in the second frame to close out the match 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour and 13 minutes.
“It was really exciting to come away with the win today. I got off to a slow start, but I just really, really wanted to win and get some matches under my belt, so it was good,” Williams said.
And regarding her viral illness last week:
“I’m really good now. I mean, every day I’ve been getting better, so I feel so much better now.”
The world No. 1’s next opponent is Tsvetana Pironkova, who defeated Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-1 to set up the encounter with Williams.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Williams holding an undefeated 2-0 record. This will serve as their first hard court meeting, after their first two matches took place on clay and grass respectively. Although they have not crossed paths in over 3 years, Williams should have little trouble advancing to the next stage of the tournament.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets