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Serena Williams accepts wild card to play in Parma

Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2021 - Day Five

ROME, ITALY - MAY 12: Serena Williams of USA looks dejected on day 5 of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia match between Serena Williams of USA and Nadia Podoroska of Argentina at Foro Italico on May 12, 2021 in Rome, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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PARMA, Italy -- 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 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.