Italian Open: Serena Williams loses 1,000th career WTA match

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Italian Open: Serena Williams loses 1,000th career WTA match
Italian Open: Serena Williams loses 1,000th career WTA match

13 May 2021: Italian Open: Serena Williams loses 1,000th career WTA match

Veteran tennis ace Serena Williams faced a defeat in the women's singles second round of the Italian Open.

The 39-year-old Serena lost to Argentina's Nadia Podoroska 6-7, 5-7 on her return to the court after nearly three months.

Notably, this was Serena's 1,000th WTA match.

Meanwhile, star players Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep also bowed out of the tournament.

Here's more.

Loss: Serena faces defeat after making a return

Serena, who was seeded eighth, hadn't played since the Australian Open.

Notably, she came from a break down twice in the opening set and saved the first three set points she faced in the tiebreaker before Podoroska converted her fourth.

The Argentine went on to win in an hour and 58 minutes.

The 24-year-old Podoroska showed enough character to get past Serena.

Reaction: Serena feels that she needs a few more matches

As per AFP, Serena said having a first match on clay since returning is tough.

Serena also said she can do much better, besides highlighting that she needs more matches.

"Maybe I do need a few more matches, so I'm going to try to figure that out with my coach and my team and see what we would like to do," she said.

Feats: Serena becomes third active women's player with 1,000-plus WTA matches

Serena is chasing an elusive 24th singles career Grand Slam at the upcoming French Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner is one short of equaling Margaret Court's tally.

The veteran Serena has won 73 WTA titles till date.

Notably, Serena became the third active player in women's tennis to have played 1,000-plus WTA matches.

Serena has 851 wins and 149 losses.

Barty: Barty advances after beating Shvedova

Days after her shock defeat in the Madrid Open final against Aryna Sabalenka, Aussie sensation Ashleigh Barty advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova.

She is set to face 28th-ranked Russian Veronika Kudermetova next as she bids for a first Rome quarter-final on her third appearance.

Duo: Osaka and Halep bow out

2021 Australian Open champion Osaka slumped to a 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 loss to 31st-ranked American Jessica Pegula.

The reigning US Open champion has seven career hard-court titles, but has never managed to lift a clay-court trophy.

Meanwhile, world number three Halep, the 2018 French Open champion, limped off in tears with a left calf issue while leading against Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-1, 3-3.