World no. 10 Serena Williams is back in action after that tough Wimbledon final loss, defeating Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-3 in 75 minutes in her first match in Canada since 2015. The three-time Canadian Open champion was the semi-finalist in 2014 and 2015, hoping for a better run this week after having more to prepare for this event in comparison to some she played earlier this year.
Serena lost serve twice, which was hardly noticeable after taking half of the return points, creating ten break chances and delivering five breaks to control the scoreboard after a slow start in both sets. The American had 19 winners and 24 unforced errors, leaving Mertens on an 11-19 ratio and being the more aggressive player on the court, playing at her best in the crucial moments to advance into the third round.
The Belgian broke in the third game of the match after forcing an error from Serena who broke back at 15 in game six to level the score at 3-3 following a deep return that Mertens failed to control. With the momentum on her side, Williams held after four deuces in game seven and broke again thanks to another deep return that sent her 5-3 up.
Serving for the set, Serena came back from a 30-0 down, sealing the set with two service winners for a 6-3 after 35 minutes. Elise moved in front with a break in game two in the second set when Serena's forehand found the net, staying in the lead only for a couple of minutes before the American broke back with a backhand down the line winner, converting the fifth chance at 2-2 after a double fault from Mertens to open up the gap and moving over the top with a break at 5-3 when Mertens sprayed a forehand error, setting the third-round clash with Ekaterina Alexandrova.