Tennis: Serena Williams rallies to reach Rogers Cup third round in Toronto

Serena Williams of the USA plays a shot against Flavia Pennetta of Italy during Day 2 of the Rogers Cup at the Aviva Centre on Tuesday in Toronto, Canada.
Serena Williams of the USA plays a shot against Flavia Pennetta of Italy during Day 2 of the Rogers Cup at the Aviva Centre on Tuesday in Toronto, Canada. PHOTO: AFP

TORONTO, Canada (AFP) - World number one Serena Williams rallied to advance to the third round of the WTA Rogers Cup on Tuesday by defeating Italy's Flavia Pennetta 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Williams, winner of the past four Grand Slam events, took 98 minutes to capture her first match since winning at Wimbledon, and as she did during much of her title run in London, she did it after dropping the first set.

In the first set, Williams connected on only 44 per cent of her first serves. She was broken four times, twice more than Pennetta.

But she held at love to open the second set and rolled to victory from there in the US Open hardcourt warm-up event, becoming the only player to reach the third round thanks to rain that washed out all but two matches on Monday.

Williams could complete a calendar-year Grand Slam with a victory at the US Open, which begins August 31, and claim her 22nd career Grand Slam title, matching Steffi Graf's Open Era record total.