Major coup for Emilia-Romagna Open as Serena Williams changes plans and adds event to her schedule

Serena Williams asking questions

Serena Williams is looking to get as many matches as possible under her belt ahead of Roland-Garros and has added the Emilia-Romagna Open to her calendar.

The decision came on the back of the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s second-round defeat at the Italian Open on Wednesday.

Playing on the WTA Tour for the first time since her Australian Open semi-final defeat in February, the former world No 1 suffered straight-set loss against Nadia Podoroska from Argentina.

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After the match she conceded that she is lacking match practise ahead of Roland Garros, saying: “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.”

Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has confirmed that they have accepted a wildcard for the newly-launched WTA 250 event in Parma.

“Change of plans: Serena hasn’t been competing for a while, and we want to get as many matches under our belt as possible before Roland-Garros – so we’re adding the Emilia-Romagna Open to our schedule,” he wrote on Twitter.

Williams’ sister and fellow former world No 1 Venus has also accepted a wildcard for the tournament.

Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus lost in the first round of the Madrid Open a fortnight ago and was a last-minute withdrawal from the Italian Open.

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