Rome - Venus Williams will take on her sister Serena in the second round of the Italian Open after battling past Elise Mertens 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4) in Rome on Monday.
Williams came out on top of a tight contest that went all the way to a third-set tie-break despite her winning five games on the bounce, letting the Belgian back in by missing six match points on her serve in the eighth game.
She missed a further two match points as Mertens battled to level the set at 6-6, before finally taking the match in the tie-break and setting up a headline-grabbing clash with her 10th-seed sibling.
Results from the ATP and WTA Italian Open tournaments in Rome on Monday (x denotes seeding):
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-2, 6-3
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) bt Wang Qiang (CHN x15) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
Serena Williams (USA x10) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-4, 6-2
Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-4, 6-1
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-3, 6-4
Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-1, 6-0
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-4, 6-2
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)
Casper Ruud (NOR) bt Daniel Evans (GBR) 7-5, 0-6, 6-3
Borna Coric (CRO x13) bt Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Karen Khachanov (RUS x11) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-3, 6-7 (1/7), 6-3
Laslo Djere (SRB) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3, 6-4