Serena Williams has changed her plans for her French Open preparations after a first-up loss at the Italian Open on Wednesday.
Williams crashed out at the first hurdle in Rome, her first match in nearly three months since her semi-final defeat at the Australian Open.
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On Thursday, the 39-year-old and coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced that Williams will now play at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, an event they had originally planned on skipping.
"Change of plans," Mouratoglou tweeted.
"Serena hasn't been competing for a while, and we want to get as many matches under our belt as possible before Roland-Garros.
"So we're adding the Emilia-Romagna Open to our schedule.
"We’ll be back in action next week."
Williams needs one more grand slam title to match the all-time record of Australian great Margaret Court.
She will head to the French Open an outside chance to capture career grand slam 24.
"It's tough to have a first match on clay," said Williams after losing 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 to Argentina's Nadia Podoroska in Rome.
"But I usually don't take this much time off on a clay court season, so usually I play like a Charleston or a Madrid or somewhere.
"So my season doesn't usually start this late on clay. But the training isn't for nothing, so I know that it's just a matter of time.
"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."
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The eighth seed found it tough going against Podoroska, losing in just under two hours to the 44th-ranked Argentine.
"Overall, it was good for me to play such a clay court player on clay today, but it's a little frustrating," she conceded.
"Yeah, just filling out the game, finding the rhythm. Even sliding and confidence with that, with movement, and just not wanting to break my ankle when I moved.
"That's always like a little struggle in the first two matches, and then I'm raring to go."
Organisers announced on Thursday that Venus Williams has also accepted a wild-card invitation.
The clay-court event in Parma, which was added to the calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic, starts on Sunday.
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