Serena Williams Suffers Defeat in 1000th Match
One of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena Williams took a rare defeat in her return to court, with a 7-6 (6), 7-5 loss to Nadia Podoroska on Wednesday in the second round of the Italian Open. It was Williams’ 1,000th tour-level match, an impressive feat added to the resume of the greatest women’s tennis player ever.
Her career record sits at 851-149. Williams came into this match as the eighth overall seed, but hadn’t played since the Australian Open, so the rust was certainly showing. Williams spoke to the media after her defeat. “It’s tough to have a first match on clay. It was definitely kind of good to go the distance and to try to be out there, but clearly I can do legions better,” said Williams, who has won the Italian Open four times. “Maybe I do need a few more matches, so I’m going to try to figure that out with my coach and my team and see what we would like to do. … I have been training for months, but it feels definitely different on clay to make that last adjustment.”
Four decades building THE legacy 👏@serenawilliams marks her 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣th career match in Rome today
— Billie Jean King Cup (@BJKCup) May 12, 2021
The 24 year-old Podoroska is building an impressive resume herself, as this is her third career win over a top-10 player.
“It’s special win,” Podoroska said. “As I said, she’s a great athlete. She did too many things for our sport. It’s history. So for me, it’s very special. But most of all, I’m happy the way I played. Like, I felt again comfortable on clay, on my game, and that’s most important for me.”
As for the rest of the tournament, a surprising number of heavyweights are down and out already. Both Simona Halep, the defending champion, and Naomi Osaka, the second overall seed and up and coming star are out as well. Halep suffered a left calf injury against Angelique Kerber, while Osaka lost to Jessica Pegula.