Irina Begu, defeated by Serena Williams in Rome semi-final. Begu/Niculescu, Mergea/Bopanna eliminated

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Serena Williams returned to the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after a comfortable victory 6-4, 6-1 over the unseeded Irina-Camelia Begu on Saturday, etatennis.com reports.

The Foro Italico has historically been a happy hunting ground for Williams, who has reached the semi-finals or better on eight occasions. Three times she has gone on to lift the trophy at the famous old venue, and judging by her performances this week she is in the mood to add to this tally.

Following on from the World No.1’s awe-inspiring display against Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday evening, few gave Begu much hope of springing an upset. However, the Romanian has been enjoying a fine clay court season and acquitted herself well early on, recovering from an early break to draw level at 4-4.

Unfortunately for Begu, this was as good as it got. Two games later, a sequence of smart returns gave Williams the set and from there she rarely looked like being caught, wrapping up victory after an hour and 26 minutes by ghosting in to punch away a smart volley.

In the doubles event, the pair Irina Begu/Monica Niculescu was defeated on Saturday by Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza 6-3, 6-4. Begu and Niculescu are to receive EUR 30,920 and 350 WTA points.

In the men’s doubles, the pair Florin Mergea/Rohan Bopanna was also defeated on Saturday in the semi-finals 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) by Vasek Pospisil (Canada)/Jack Sock (US). Mergea/Bopanna are to receive EUR 54,550 and 360 ATP points.

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