Serena Williams reached the second round of the National Bank Open in Toronto on Monday. The former world no. 1 defeated Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 57 minutes. This is Williams’ first win since the 2021 French Open when she reached the round of 16 after defeating compatriot, Danielle Collins in the third round.
Williams, however, played only two more events after that – Wimbledon in 2021 and 2022. Against Parrizas Diaz, Williams won 67% of her first-serve points and saved seven of the eight break points she faced. She went on to convert three of the five break points she had on Parrizas Diaz’s serve.
In the second round, Williams will take on either 12th seed Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova.
National Bank Open: Venus Williams' struggles continue
Meanwhile, Venus Williams didn’t fare all too well in her first-round match against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.
The latter ousted the seven-time Major champion, 6-2, 6-3 after an hour and 15 minutes of play. Teichmann won 75% of her first-serve points and despite only being able to win 38% of her second-serve points, won 81% of points on return on the American’s second serve.
Teichmann lost her serve twice in the match but went on to secure thrice as many breaks on Williams’ serve. In the round-of-32, Teichmann will play second seed Anett Kontaveit who received a first-round bye. Earlier, Simona Halep was the first player to win in the 2022 edition of the tournament.
The Romanian hammered past qualifier Donna Vekic, 6-0, 6-2 in 61 minutes in their opening-round clash. The 15th seed didn’t face any break point but went on to convert five breaks on the Croatian’s serve. Halep’s won the Montreal edition of the National Bank Open twice before, in 2016 and 2018 and her best result in the Toronto edition of the event’s been reaching the final in 2015 (l to Belinda Bencic).
This year, looking to reach the third round, Halep will play either Shuai Zhang or qualifier, Cristina Bucsa. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter
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