Serena Williams progresses to the second round of the Canadian Open in straight sets.

Serena Williams progresses to the second round of the Canadian Open in straight sets

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Serena Williams hadn’t won in so long that she couldn’t remember how it felt.

On Monday, she won her first match since the 2021 French Open, defeating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the National Bank Open.

“I’m just relieved to have won. It’s been a long time, and I’d forgotten how that felt “According to Williams.
The 40-year-old Williams is competing in her second event of the season, having returned to action at Wimbledon little over a month ago. At the All England Club, the 23-time Grand Slam champion was defeated in three sets by Harmony Tan in the first round.

She last participated in the 2021 Wimbledon tournament, where she retired in the middle of her first set due to a strained hamstring caused by sliding on the grass.

Williams, who will be 41 at the end of September, will next face either Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova, who are both ranked 12th.
Williams has won this tournament three times and reached the final on her most recent visit in 2019, losing to Bianca Andreescu before being forced to withdraw due to injury.

But Williams hasn’t played much since and understands she has to get back on the court.

“I feel happy, and I think I did well today.” “I suppose all I needed to do was simply compete,” she explained. “I’m getting there mentally. I’m not where I usually am (or want to be). “Every match I play, whether I win or lose, benefits me.” I haven’t played much in the last year, much alone two. That, I believe, benefits me physically. I feel lot better in practise; it’s simply a matter of translating it to the court. Literally, I’m the type of person who needs one or two things to click.”

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Serena Williams progresses to the second round of the Canadian Open in straight sets
Williams got out to a fast start, winning the opening two games with remarkable ease.

Parrizas-Diaz drew it up at 2-2, but despite Williams’ troubles at times, the 31-year-old Spaniard couldn’t find enough consistency to get ahead. Williams rediscovered her stride, combining great touch with her trademark power and putting shot after shot beyond of reach of Parrizas-Diaz. Williams’ performance got the audience on their feet, shouting and even kneeling.

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Williams won the first set in the final three games, then pushed ahead in the second after the 57th-ranked Parrizas-Diaz seized a 4-3 lead. She battled through a nine-deuce game to keep service and even the set, then broke in the following game before serving out the victory.

While Williams admits that the end of her illustrious career is near, she is enjoying her time and living in the now.
“I’m approaching the light. “I can’t wait to go to that light,” she added, adding that the light represented “freedom.”””But I adore playing; it’s fantastic,” she continued. “I can’t do this forever, so sometimes you just want to do your hardest to appreciate the moments and do your best.”

On other first-round action, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez defeated Australian Storm Sanders 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3 in her return to the court.

Fernandez was back in action for the first time since May 31, when she suffered a stress fracture in her foot in a quarterfinal defeat to Martina Trevisan. On Wednesday, the 13th-ranked Fernandez will face Brazil’s Beatriz Maia.

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In a three-hour encounter that was delayed twice by weather, Sloane Stephens defeated Sofia Kenin in three sets, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5.

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