Serena Williams of the United States shouts during her match against Nadia Podoroska of Argentina at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Podoroska beat Williams 7-6, 7-5. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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PARMA, Italy (AP) — Serena Williams has accepted a wild-card invitation to play at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma starting this weekend.

The move came immediately after Williams lost in straight sets to Nadia Podoroska at the Italian Open on Wednesday in her first match in nearly three months.

“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,” Williams said after losing to Podoroska, a semifinalist at last year's French Open. “I have been training for months, but it feels definitely different on clay to make that last adjustment.”

Williams is preparing for the French Open, which starts at the end of the month.

Venus Williams, Serena’s sister, also accepted a wild-card invitation, organizers said.

The clay-court event in Parma, which was added to the calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic, starts Sunday.


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