The Italian Open had only just begun for Venus Williams and Coco Vandeweghe when their round one contest was dramatically interrupted.

Tied 40-all in just the second game of the match, Williams was preparing to receive serve from her fellow American when commotion began to stir behind her.

One of the ball boys standing behind at Williams end of the court had unexpectedly fainted, falling face first into the clay.

Appearing to shake slightly on the ground, the boy quickly came-to as another ball boy and officials rushed to his side.


"Well the heat unfortunately already claiming its first casualty, that young man just being temporarily overcome," one commentator said. "It looks as if his day's work is well and truly done."

The young man was quickly carried from the court, hanging quite limp across the arms of officials.

Temperatures reached close to 30C in Rome on Monday (AEST), with warm weather expected to continue to cause trouble for competitors at the Open.

Despite appearing rather concerned by the young boy's collapse, Williams regained her composure to go on and win the first round match convincingly 6-4 6-3.