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Serena Williams wins for the first time in 2022, advances in Toronto

Serena Williams wins for the first time since the spring of 2021, beating Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the Toronto first round on Monday. Either Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova is next for Williams.

For the first time since the 2021 French Open, Serena Williams is a winner on the WTA Tour.

Williams picked up her first victory since suffering a knee injury at Wimbledon last summer when she defeated Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-3, 6-4 in round one of the National Bank Open on Monday afternoon. The 40-year-old advanced at the Aviva Centre in Toronto after one hour and 58 minutes.

Marathon service hold propels Williams to victory

The final turning point of the match came with Williams serving at 3-4 in the second set. That game went to nine deuces and Parrizas Diaz earned a total of four break points. The American saved all four and finally managed to hold, thus getting back on level terms at 4-4. With momentum in hand, Williams seized a quick break for 5-4 and then served out the match with ease in the 10th game of the set.

“I just wanted to be out here today,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion told the crowd. “I love playing here in Toronto; I’ve done well in the past…. It’s great to be back in Toronto; I didn’t know if I would be able to play here again. It’s one of my favorite stops on tour.”

Up next for Williams, who has won this tournament three times, is either No 12 seed Belinda Bencic or qualifier Tereza Martincova.

Other WTA Toronto first-round matches and results:

  • Jil Teichmann vs. Venus Williams
  • Shuai Zhang vs. Cristina Bucsa
  • Madison Brengle vs. Coco Gauff
  • Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. Claire Liu
  • Camila Giorgi vs. Emma Raducanu
  • Anna Bondar vs. Elise Mertens
  • Rebecca Marino vs. Qinwen Zheng
  • Daria Kasatkina vs. Bianca Andreescu
  • Amanda Anisimova vs. Carol Zhao
  • Kaia Kanepi vs. Naomi Osaka
  • Belinda Bencic vs. Tereza Martincova
  • Veronika Kudermetova vs. Ajla Tomljanovic
  • Storm Sanders vs. Leylah Fernandez
  • Katherine Sebov vs. Yulia Putintseva
  • Petra Kvitova vs. Alison Riske-Amritraj
  • Asia Muhammad vs. Madison Keys
  • Alize Cornet vs. Caroline Garcia
  • Barbora Krejcikova vs. Karolina Pliskova
  • Sloane Stephens vs. Sofia Kenin
  • Jelena Ostapenko vs. Anhelina Kalinina: monday
  • Simona Halep (15) beat Donna Vekic (LL): 6-0, 6-2
  • Elena Rybakina beat Marie Bouzkova (Q): 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-1
  • Beatriz Haddad Maia beat Martina Trevisan: 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
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