Monday in Rome: Mertens kisses her No.1 doubles trophy, first round kicks off

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Monday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia was focused on the start of main-draw play, but there were also a number of off-court happenings such as Elise Mertens’ trophy shoot and press conferences with top players. Let’s go through a selection of Jimmie48‘s photos and see the main activities at the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome.

Elise Mertens of Belgium
Elise Mertens of Belgium

Elise Mertens climbed to the No.1 doubles ranking for the first time in her career, becoming the 45th woman in WTA history to achieve the feat. The Belgian dethroned Hsieh Su-Wei. Today, the new top-ranked doubles player posed for our photographer with her doubles world No.1 trophy.

Kim Clijsters, the only other Belgian woman to have occupied the No.1 doubles ranking, congratulated Mertens on social media.

Elise Mertens of Belgium
Elise Mertens of Belgium

The ascent to the WTA world No.1 comes after Mertens’ two doubles titles this season — at the Australian Open teamed up with Aryna Sabalenka and last month at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Championship partnered with Veronika Kudermetova.

Serena Williams of the United States
Serena Williams of the United States

Serena Williams enjoys a first-round bye at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, her first tournament since the Australian Open, where she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Naomi Osaka. On Monday, the American was busy talking to the media.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus

Fresh off her Madrid Open title, new Top 5 member Aryna Sabalenka has arrived in Rome where her second-round opponent after a first-round bye will be Sara Sorribes Tormo who won the longest match of the year to take out Camila Giorgi 7-6(4) 6-7(7) 7-5 in three hours and 51 minutes.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia
Ashleigh Barty of Australia

Madrid runner-up Ashleigh Barty is the top seed in Rome.

Serena Williams of the United States
Serena Williams of the United States

Besides taking her time to chat with journalists, Serena Williams was on the court practicing to try to win her fifth title in the Italian capital.

Simona Halep of Romania & Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine
Simona Halep of Romania & Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine

Defending champion Simona Halep and two-time champion Elina Svitolina practiced together on Monday.

Iga Swiatek of Poland
Iga Swiatek of Poland

Iga Swiatek‘s preparation includes versatile activities, including soccer.

Iga Swiatek of Poland
Iga Swiatek of Poland

Wearing the Asics Spring Match Graphic Tank and Spring Match Skirt, reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek didn’t even get to complete her match, as Alison Riske retired injured in the first set of their second encounter in two weeks.

Alison Riske of the United State
Alison Riske of the United State

American Jessica Pegula made a winning debut in Rome with a 7-5 6-3 win over Daria Kasatkina to set up a second-round clash with Naomi Osaka. The world No.31 is sporting the Adidas Prime Dope Dye Dress.

Jessica Pegula of the United States
Jessica Pegula of the United States

Maria Sakkari came through a tough match to get past Polona Hercog 7-6(6) 3-6 6-2.

Maria Sakkari of Greece
Maria Sakkari of Greece

The world No.74 Hercog has played six WTA finals, all of them on clay.

Polona Hercog of Slovenia
Polona Hercog of Slovenia

Amanda Anisimova defeated Wang Qiang 7-5 6-3 in the first round.

Amanda Anisimova of the United States
Amanda Anisimova of the United States

Ekaterina Alexandrova took 75 minutes to dispatch Marta Kostyuk 6-3 6-1.

Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia
Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia
Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine
Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine

Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog as we continue to bring you exclusive photos from the 2021 Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

 


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