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Serena Williams back to winning ways

Serena Williams

Bengaluru, August 9: Having not felt that winning feeling in singles tennis since the 2021 French Open win over Danielle Collins, multi Grand Slam winner Serena Williams finally did so in Toronto on Monday (August 8).

The American beat Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the Toronto Open for her first victory since turning 40.

Serena looked impressive as she beat her Spanish opponent in just under two hours.

She even earned a standing ovation when facing break point in the fourth game of the second set, as she worked hard to stay in the point before smashing a trademark forehand winner to save the game.

Serena, whose last Grand Slam title came in 2017 at the Australian Open, will face either number 12 seed Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova in the second round.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is competing in the tournament as part of preparations for the US Open, and sealed her first win since splitting with coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

After her first singles match win in 430 days, Serena said she is getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Serena had returned from a one-year absence at Wimbledon last month after recovering from injury, but was beaten by Harmony Tan in the first round.

"I guess there's just a light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "I don't know, I'm getting closer to the light, so... lately that's been it for me. I can't wait to get to that light."

When asked what "the light" means to her, she responded "freedom".

"I love playing though, so it's like, amazing," she added. "But, you know, I can't do this forever.

"Sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments, and do the best that you can."

Serena Williams

Serena became just the fourth player since 2000 to win a WTA-Tour level main-draw match after turning 40, along with Martina Navratilova, Kimiko Date-Krumm and her sister Venus Williams.

It also gave her the all-time lead for wins at the Canadian Open in the Open Era, this being her 35th victory at the event to break her tie with Chris Evert.

The duo had worked together for 10 years, before Mouratoglou revealed they had gone their separate ways in April after Williams decided not to compete at the French Open, with Mouratoglou moving on to train Simona Halep instead.

Serena Williams named among US Open entry list with protected rankings

Serena returned to action after almost a year away from the game in the WTA event in Eastbourne in June in the women's doubles, before competing in the singles at Wimbledon, losing to Harmony Tan in an exciting first round contest on Centre Court at SW19

She has been named on the entry list for the US Open having pulled out of last year's tournament with a torn hamstring, entering with a protected ranking of 16.

The US Open, the last Grand Slam of the season will be held from August 29 to September 11 at the Flushing Meadows in New York.

Serena has also been named among the initial entry list for August's Cincinnati Masters as she returns to the US Open Series.

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 9, 2022, 9:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 9, 2022