Toronto - Italy's Flavia Pennetta breezed past Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski 6-4, 6-1 Monday at the WTA Rogers Cup, booking a second-round date Tuesday with world number one Serena Williams.
Williams, who like all top seeds received a first-round bye at the US Open hardcourt tune-up event, has won all six prior matches against the Italian, who will be the US superstar's first hardcourt foe since winning her fourth Grand Slam title in a row last month at Wimbledon.
"It's going to be nice because I'll play one of the best players ever," Pennetta said. "But it's good because she's the hardest test and I'll see where my game is."
Williams, who has dropped only one career set to Pennetta, is trying to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam and match Steffi Graf with an Open Era-record 22 Grand Slam singles crowns by winning the US Open, which starts in three weeks at New York.
Rain wiped out all other matches except a night start for Williams' sister Venus, who lost to Germany's Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-3.
Results on Monday from the first day of the WTA Rogers Cup (x denotes seed):
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) bt Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) 6-4, 6-1
Sabine Lisicki (GER) bt Venus Williams (USA x14) 6-0, 6-3