Coco Gauff outlasted Yulia Putintseva in a first-round match that took just short of three hours Monday as the WTA's 2021 Italian Open got underway in Rome.
It took a two-hour, 57-minute battle royal for Gauff, the 17-year-old American, to overcome Putintseva of Kazakhstan 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the highlight match of the round of 64. Gauff moves onto the second round Wednesday against 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece, who also played a marathon first-round match Monday, defeating Polona Hercog of Slovenia in three sets, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who moved back into the top 10 ten in the world rankings after reaching the quarterfinals in Madrid, dropped her first set against Poland's Magda Linette before the 11th-seded Kvitova rallied to win 1-6, 6-0, 6-2.
Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo overcame Italy's Camila Giorgi in another arduous first-round match, going for three hours, 51 minutes before prevailing 7-6 (4), 6-7 (7), 7-5.
Meanwhile, former world No. 14 Petra Martic posted her first Top 50 victory of the season in another long match. The Croatian fought back to defeat American Shelby Rogers 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 29 minutes.
Two other seeded players moved on: 13th-seeded American Jennifer Brady downed Shuai Zhang 6-1, 6-4, and No. 15 Iga Swiatek of Poland was up against Alison Riske 5-4 when the American retired with an injury.
American Jessica Pegula beat Russian Daria Kasatkina, Vera Zvonareva of Russia downed American Christina Hale, Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia downed Ukranian Marta Kostyuk, Jil Teichmann of Switzerland beat Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, and Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. defeated Qiang Wang of China.
Another day of first-round matches is set for Tuesday.
On Sunday, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams withdrew from the event, which moved Czech Karolina Pliskova into the second round.
--Field Level Media