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Serena Williams: “I love Roma and it’s a pity to play without fans”

Serena Williams is preparing to play BNL Internazionali d’Italia for the fourth decade. Started in the 1990s, he made his debut in 1998 against Natalie Touaisi, losing in the quarterfinals to Venus. He won for the first time in 2002. He played and won again in the second decade of the 21st century, an unforgettable victory in 2013 as he lost only 14 matches in the entire tournament.

Also champion in 2014 on Sara Errani and in 2016 on Madison Keys, she made her debut in the first “Made in the USA” women’s final since 1970, making her first comeback in the 1920s.

“I love Rome, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” he said at the classic press conference on the eve of the tournament. My daughter asked: What is your favorite place? Mother is Italy, and she is copying me and answered Italy. I love Roma, I have some good friends here since I was a teenager. It is an experience that unites, even if unfortunately we cannot do it now. “

His seventeenth participation in Italy’s international BNL will be the first at Foro Italico to be empty, at least until Thursday, then complete with a maximum of 25% capacity due to restrictions related to Covid.

“I used to play without fans, it’s definitely different. Somehow we’ll be able to look back and say: I remember time we had to play without fans – Serena added -. I’m trying to take everything as an experiment. It’s going to be tough without the Roman fans, because they’re special.” Oh really “.

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“Am I in the top 10? I don’t even know where I’m in the ranking”

In his third tournament of the season after the semi-finals at the Yara Valley Classic and the Australian Open, after farewell he will make his debut against lucky German Laura Siegmund or Argentine Nadia Podorowska, the 45th seed, revelation with Martina Trevisan of the latest Roland Garros.

“Things are going well, I trained well. I’m ready for the mud – said Serena -. As for Podoroska, he’s playing really well. I’ve seen her a little bit this year. Then they all bring something extra when they face the top 10. If they are, then I’ll be ready.” “. In fact, this week it is number 8 in the WTA ranking. “I don’t even know where I am in the ranking, I know I am somewhere,” he commented with a smile.

In recent months, she has been training privately on clay in the US with her team. “It was very intense weeks – he explained -, and then in the past two and a half weeks, I trained at Patrick’s Academy [Mouratoglou]”.

Serena, the sport’s legend, is still very little “social”: she does not tell much, and she does not interact much with the fans. He concluded, “I try not to worry too much about what people think about me, because that might drive you crazy. I don’t start talking to the fans too much. Since I don’t produce a lot of sports content, I think people are wondering if they’re playing and I should always say.” : “I always do it even if you don’t see it.”

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He concluded that he did not want to show what he was doing. “I don’t want to reveal my cards. I will never pay attention to these things. And that’s fine.”