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 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.
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 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.
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.
Madrid runner-up Ashleigh Barty is the top seed in Rome.
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.
Defending champion Simona Halep and two-time champion Elina Svitolina practiced together on Monday.
Iga Swiatek‘s preparation includes versatile activities, including soccer.
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.
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.
Maria Sakkari came through a tough match to get past Polona Hercog 7-6(6) 3-6 6-2.
The world No.74 Hercog has played six WTA finals, all of them on clay.
Amanda Anisimova defeated Wang Qiang 7-5 6-3 in the first round.
Ekaterina Alexandrova took 75 minutes to dispatch Marta Kostyuk 6-3 6-1.
Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog as we continue to bring you exclusive photos from the 2021 Internazionali BNL d’Italia.