Konta earns Stephens tie, while Williams off to flier
Britain's Johanna Konta will play American Sloane Stephens in the Italian Open second round after a straight-sets win over her compatriot Alison Riske.
Konta (27) took fewer than 90 minutes to defeat Riske 6-4 6-1 in the first round in Rome.
The British No.1 beat 2017 US Open champion Stephens in Brisbane in January - their only previous meeting.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, opened her clay-court season with a routine 6-4 6-2 win over Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson in the first round of the Italian Open yesterday.
Williams fell behind 3-1 in the first set but then began to take control with her baseline power on a windy day at the Foro Italico.
When Williams ran down a passing attempt from Peterson and replied with a cross-court winner to break for a 5-2 lead in the second set, she let out a scream and bent over as she pumped both of her fists.
Williams finished with 28 winners to Peterson's eight, and committed only two more unforced errors than the 58th-ranked Swede, 22-20.
Garbine Muguruza won her first match in over a month as, for the third time this season, she defeated Zheng Saisai without the loss of a set in the opening round of the Premier 5 event in the Italian capital, 6-3 6-4.
Great Britain's Kyle Edmund bowed out of the men's event after a first-round defeat by Fernando Verdasco.
Edmund took the first set 6-4, but Verdasco hit back to win the second and third 6-4 6-2 and wrapped up victory in two hours and 23 minutes.
The 2010 Rome semi-finalist will meet fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the second round.