Serena Williams said “ciao” to the Italian Open title Sunday for the third time in her career.
The decorated pro defeated the tenth-seeded Italian fan favorite Sara Errani for the win. Despite the crowd’s constant chanting of “Sara, Sara” and the singing of the Italian anthem, Williams was able to put the distractions behind her and defeat Errani, who was hoping to become the first Italian to win the title in over 30 years.
Williams started out strong, jumping to a quick 3-0 lead, namely due to her overpowering serve – she had seven aces to Errani’s none – and attacking game. The pro eventually won with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over the Italian, who felt she let her fans down by the loss.
“I’m sorry,” Errani told fans during the victory ceremony with tears in her eyes. “You were unbelievable all week. I tried to do my best and stayed on the court only for you.”
Errani left the match for an injury timeout after trailing behind Williams 5-3 and came back with her left thigh bandaged. It was obvious Errani wasn’t feeling her best when she let a shot from Williams pass her by without even attempting to stop it.
When former Italian player Lea Pericoli asked Errani during the trophy presentation if she was disappointed with her performance, she was answered by whistles and boos from the crowd. She then stated the player’s appearance in the match was an accomplishment in itself.
Watch Williams win the match:
Williams had a left thigh problem herself, which prompted her to withdraw before her quarterfinal match at the Madrid Open, but her recent showing proves she is more than capable to perform, and will continue to show her skills at the French Open next week.
“I’m not 100 percent but I’m just kind of going on adrenaline,” the star said.
Serene. All week. Brava @serenawilliams pic.twitter.com/SgSmByd6gw
— TennisTV (@TennisTV) May 18, 2014
"I'm like a fine wine, I guess — at least my tennis is,'' @SerenaWilliams said. "My game gets better with age.'' http://t.co/QKb1fcHCxq
— espnW (@espnW) May 19, 2014
ICYMI: Serena Williams poised despite mounting pressure http://t.co/BKpOfGXjqo via @USATODAY
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) May 20, 2014
Williams won the Rome title in 2002 and again last year. She went on to capture the French Open after both wins. This recent victory is the 60th title of her career.
Image via YouTube