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Final possibility for Serena to get diversion in rigging before French Open

3:55 PM ET

When Serena Williams opens her 2016 clay-court debate during a Italian Open on Tuesday, a steer of Anna-Lena Friedsam opposite a net is fundamentally going to trigger memories.

The doubt is, that memories?

Dark memories of 52 spontaneous errors in a initial set of their sour second-round compare strife during final year’s French Open? That one was an nauseous preface to a struggles that paved a formidable trail to Williams’ 20th Grand Slam title.

Or will Williams peep inspirational? Over that Parisian fortnight, she overcame illness, bad footwork and fantastic errors. She also consumed a brood of mangle points, that led to media-orchestrated funerals during times yet finished with undefinable emotions of delight as Williams took a second step toward a deteriorate Grand Slam.

Friedsam took strides, too. Modest ones. In a interim, she has shaved a plain 50 spots off her former ranking of 105. Williams was ranked No. 1 then; she’s ranked No. 1 now. She’s amassed so many rankings points that she competence be ranked No. 1 when we inhabit a world Jupiter.

Still, that doesn’t pledge success. Here are a 3 categorical areas Williams will need to recompense tighten courtesy to in sequence to maximize her chances on Tuesday — and going brazen in Rome.

  • Bring a boom: Williams’ offer is a biggest ever seen in a women’s diversion and a rock-solid substructure on that her mass has rested. It usually hasn’t been adult to tinge consistently adequate this year. The velocity, correctness and first-serve coherence have left blank for prolonged periods. (In Miami, she strike 9 double faults in her detriment to Kuznetsova and won usually 39 percent of her first-serve points.)

  • Kick adult a clay: Footwork has been an area of sold regard in Williams’ poorer performances this year. Sure, she hits an open-stance backhand improved than anyone in tennis, and she can recompense for a lot with flesh and wrist. But messy footwork or miss of footwork is always an invitation to disaster — generally during vicious times in a compare when nerves make it additional tough to get your feet moving.

  • Get a reason of those feelings: Over a past dual years, Williams has turn a actor increasingly given to great, eloquent outbursts of tension during matches. It’s led some to wonder, “Why is she putting herself by this?” Just as relevant: Does it harm or help?

Williams herself competence not even have an answer. But one thing is certain: Living in peaks and valleys is perilous, if not spasmodic intoxicating. Good museum doesn’t always interpret to good tennis, that is something Williams will have to fastener with in a weeks to come.

Venus wins singles, loses doubles with Serena

Venus Williams won in singles, and afterwards mislaid in doubles with younger sister Serena during a Italian Open on Monday.

Major concerns and questions thrive all around Williams now, stuffing a blank that once was assigned by all those W’s and titles. She hasn’t won a contest all year. The good news, if we wish to call it that, is that she’s usually played in 3 events.

The reality: This one looms anything yet a slight first-rounder for Williams. She is 34 years old, and she’s finally started personification her age during times. Most recently, it came as she was sluggishly wading by a fourth-round detriment opposite Svetlana Kuznetsova in Miami. Friedsam is an eager-beaver 22-year-old. It’s a dangerous combination.

Clay has never been Williams’ best or favorite surface. She’s 12-2 in clay finals yet didn’t win a singular French Open between 2002 and 2013. More significantly, she’s taken some of her many startling waste on red clay.

In May, 2010, Jelena Jankovic dissapoint a top-seeded Williams in a semifinals of a Italian Open. Two years later, No. 111 French furious label Virginie Razzano combined one of a biggest upsets in women’s tennis story when she kick Williams in a initial turn of a French Open. And in 2014, up-and-coming Garbine Muguruza tagged Williams in a second turn of a French Open.

Being European, Friedsam is gentle on clay, even yet she cites tough courts as her favorite. Chalk adult a mangle for Serena, who can use one as a time ticks down to a French Open.

Williams had been slated to play Madrid, yet a built-in pillow dead when she was forced to lift out with a flu. Now it’s on to Rome, where she hopes to start strongly and trust it leaves her sufficient prepared for Roland Garros.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/15494587/tennis-three-main-areas-serena-williams-work-rome