Toronto - World No 1 Serena Williams rallied to advance to
the third round of the WTA Rogers Cup on Tuesday by defeating Italy's Flavia
Pennetta 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
It was the 725th career match triumph for Williams, who
withdrew from last week's Stanford event with a right elbow injury but launched
her US Open hardcourt warm-up campaign successfully.
"The elbow was okay - definitely not perfect, but I'll
see how it recovers tomorrow," Williams said.
"It was a good opportunity for me because I hadn't
played a match on hardcourts since April-ish, early, early April, after Miami.
It was a long time ago."
Williams, winner of the past four Grand Slam events, took 98
minutes to capture her first match since winning at Wimbledon, and as she did
during much of her title run in London, she did it after dropping the first
In the first set, Williams connected on only 44 percent of
her first serves, won just 7 of 12 first serve points and only 2 of 15 on her
second serve. She was broken four times, twice more than Pennetta.
"Unforced errors, you know, pretty much. I had a lot of
unforced errors," Williams said. "I just told myself to drop it, like
drop the racquet low and get ready to do everything I could to get into the
game and to try to do different things, and that's what I started doing out
"I was thinking, 'The last time I was here I won. I
should at least try to get through this and give 200 percent, and I started
playing better. I was still making errors, but I just started playing better
and making less errors."
Williams held at love to open the second set but surrendered
a break to fall behind 2-1 before storming back to win 11 of the last 12 games
and roll to her seventh victory in as many starts against Pennetta.
Williams became the only player to reach the third round at
the US Open hardcourt tune-up event thanks to rain that washed out all but two
matches on Monday. Her next match will be Thursday.
Williams could complete a calendar-year Grand Slam with a
victory at the US Open, which begins August 31, and claim her 22nd career Grand
Slam title, matching Steffi Graf's Open Era record total.
This week, Williams hopes to win in Toronto for a third time
in a row after 2011 and 2013 titles in the Canadian event, which exchanges
venues every year with a men's event being played this week in Montreal.
Results on Tuesday from the second day of the WTA Rogers Cup (x denotes seed):
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
Daria Gavrilova (RUS) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6-4, 6-4
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x11) bt Anna Tatishvili (USA) 6-3, 6-3
Roberta Vinci (ITA) bt Karin Knapp (ITA) 6-0, 6-0
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) bt Karolina Plishkova (CZE x10) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Barbora Strycova (CZE) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-2, 6-4
Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2
Angelique Kerber (GER x13) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-0, 6-1
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x9) 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4
Carina Witthoeft (GER) bt CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Yanina Wickmayer (GER) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Monica Puig (PUR) bt Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-1, 6-4
Sara Errani (ITA x15) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 5-7, 6-1, 6-0
Julia Goerges (GER) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
Alison Riske (USA) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI x12) 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3)
Madison Brengle (USA) bt Carol Zhao (CAN) 6-1, 6-1
Olga Govortsova (BLR) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Andrea Petkovic (GER x16) bt Francoise Abanda (CAN) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
Heather Watson (GBR) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-1, 6-2
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-3, 6-4