The 1999 Rome champion Venus Williams cruised to the third round of this year’s tournament with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Patty Schnyder. The fourth-ranked Williams, who had a bye in the first round, was playing her first match since a decisive loss to Kim Clijsters in the Sony Ericsson Open final in the beginning of March. The reason for Williams’ layoff was a knee problem, but the time out didn’t prevent the American from extending her career record against Schynder to 10-0.
Defending champion Dinara Safina, seeded third, is still under the radar because of her back injury and the fact that her second-round match in Rome was only her third since January. The Russian world No.3 came back from 4-0 down to level to 4-4 in the first set against Romanian world No.43 Alexandra Dulgheru, before quickly losing the initiative and the set. Safina managed to win the topsy-turvy second set in the tiebreak, before crushing in the decider. Final score: 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1.
I would like to mention one more result: seed No.7 Jelena Jankovic defeated good friend Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3 3-6 6-1 in the second round. (photos: sr_cranks)