‘It’s just a matter of time’ before she will be ‘raring to go’ on clay, says Serena Williams

Serena Williams serving

She admits she was always going to struggle on her clay-court comeback, but Serena WIlliams is confident the hard work she is putting in during training will eventually pay off.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner played her 1,000 competitive match on Wednesday as she took on Nadia Podoroska in the second round of the Italian Open.

In what was her first match since losing in the semi-final of the Australian Open in February, Williams suffered a 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 loss at the hands of the Argentine.

The 39-year-old, though, was happy to get some game time under her belt.

“I’m not playing as many matches. I’m just doing a lot of training. So it’s actually really good to get out and to play some matches,” she is quoted as saying by WTA Tennis.

“My season doesn’t usually start this late on clay. But the training isn’t for nothing, so I know that it’s just a matter of time.”

Williams added: “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.”

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The American was impressed by Podoroska and, although frustrated by her own performance, she is confident of coming good soon.

“She has a good game, for sure, obviously. She’s very consistent. Overall, it was good for me to play such a clay court player on clay today, but it’s a little frustrating,” she said. “But it’s all right. It is what it is.

“I have been training for months, but it feels definitely different on clay to make that last adjustment. Just filling out the game, finding the rhythm. Even sliding and confidence with that, with movement… That’s always like a little struggle in the first two matches, and then I’m raring to go.”

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