Rome • Laura Robson overcame strong winds to beat Venus Williams 6-3, 6-2 at the Italian Open on Monday and set up a second-round match with top-ranked Serena Williams.
Both players struggled with the wind at the Foro Italico, with Robson hitting eight double-faults and Venus six, although Venus' errors came at more inopportune times, notably two double-faults in the final game.
Robson, who at No. 39 is ranked 15 spots below Venus, is a former Wimbledon junior champion from Britain.
Serena, who won the Madrid Open on Sunday, watched from the stands.
Also on the red clay, Sabine Lisicki of Germany eliminated American qualifier Mallory Burdette 6-1, 6-2; and Italian wild card Nastassja Burnett defeated 2008 finalist Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 6-2.