Tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams both successfully returned to the pro tennis scene after each suffered knee problems during the early part of the year. They both earned straight-set wins in the opening round of the Italian Open on May 4.

Top-ranked Serena beat Timea Bacsinszky in two sets (7-6, 6-1). It was her first competition since winning the Australian Open in February, so she showed rust and trailed early in the sets. She was down, 4-1, during the first set, but came back to tie the set before claiming the win.

“When you first come back, you’re never really 100 percent,” said Serena, who last won the Italian Open in 2001. “At first you just have to start playing some tournaments to see how it goes.”

Meanwhile, No. 4 ranked Venus easily defeated Patty Schnyder (6-2, 6-2) in her first performance since losing the Key Biscayne final last month.

Venus told the media her performance was “pretty good,” and is hoping to win the Italian Open for the first time since 1999.

“I just get out there and I grind,” said Venus, who will be 30 in June. “I’ve been working on my game and getting ready to win a title.”

Both Williams sisters will advance on to compete on a schedule still waiting to be determined. Revisit for updates of how they perform in the 2010 Italian Open.