Serena shakes off rust, Bouchard woes continue at Rogers Cup
By Steve Keating
TORONTO (Reuters) - Serena Williams shook off some hard-court rust before rolling to a 2-6 6-3 6-0 win over Italy's Flavia Pennetta at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday, but the home crowd failed to fire up local favorite Eugenie Bouchard, who slumped to another first round exit.
Williams, playing her first match of the North American hard-court swing after pulling out at Stanford last week with a sore right elbow, endured a ragged opening set in which she was broken four times and fired four double faults.
But the 33-year-old American, a three-time champion on the Toronto hardcourts, eventually found her rhythm in the second round match.
While Pennetta would break on her next opportunity to lead 2-1 in the second set, Williams shifted into another gear and stormed through the next four games on her way to leveling the match at one set each.
Fans were treated to the sight of Williams in full flow in the third as the 21-times grand slam champion finished off Pennetta with a thundering backhand winner.
"It was tough holding serve today for me," said the world number one, adding that she could not recall another match where she had been broken four times in a single set.
"It was definitely good for me to have a match like this, to play a good player like her, especially since I haven't played a match on hard court since early April."
While all four grand slam titles are already in her possession, a successful defense of her U.S. Open crown next month would put Williams in an exclusive club along with Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf as the only women to have swept all four in a single season. Continued...