Serena Williams won her first singles match in 430 days on Monday when she defeated Spain’s Nuria Párrizas Díaz 6-4 6-3 at the Canadian Open in Toronto.
Williams, whose last singles win came at the 2021 French Open, had to fight hard to beat Párrizas Díaz in nearly two hours, despite what the straight-set deficit might suggest.
The 23-time grand slam champion dropped her serve only once in the match, but saved seven break points – including four when she was 3-4 down in the second set – to beat Párrizas Díaz, the world number 57 in the game. to keep.
It means Williams will face Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova in the second round on Wednesday.
In her first singles match in a year at Wimbledon in June, the 40-year-old lost to France’s Harmony Tan in an entertaining encounter and later hinted she could play on home soil at the US Open, which starts on August 29.
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Asked on Monday what drives her to play at this late stage of her career, Williams said: “I think there’s just a light at the end of the tunnel… Lately that’s been it for me. I can’t waiting to get to that light.”
“However, I like to play, so it’s great. But you know, I can’t do this forever,” she added. “Sometimes you just want to do your best to enjoy the moments and do your best.”
Against Párrizas Díaz, Williams showed signs of hitting her signature ball as she hit 32 winners, seven of them aces.
According to optashe is the fourth woman since 2000 to win a WTA Tour match after turning 40, alongside Martina Navratilova, Kimiko Date Krumm and Williams’ sister, Venus.
The 42-year-old Venus also played in Toronto on Monday, but lost 6-2 6-3 to Swiss Jil Teichmann.