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Serena Williams Earns First Win of Season in Toronto

Although Serena Willaims hasn’t won a match in a long time, she officially picked up her first victory since the 2021 French open on Monday, beating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the women’s National Bank Open.

Williams stated, “I’m just happy to get a win. It’s been a very long time; I forgot what that felt like.”

This is just the season’s second tournament for the 40-year-old Williams, who returned to competition at Wimbledon just over a month ago. The 23-time Grand Slam champion fellin the first round to Harmony Tan in three sets at the All England Club.

Before then, she last competed at the 2021 Wimbledon tournament, where she retired in the middle of the first match due to a torn hamstring suffered after slipping on the grass surface.

Williams will face another 12-ranked Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova in the next match. Williams, who will turn 41 at the end of September, had won this tournament three times and reached the final in her last appearance at the hardcourt event in 2019, losing to Bianca Andreescu when she was forced to stop because of injury.

Williams expressed, “I feel good, and I felt like I competed well today. I think that’s what I needed to do, is just compete. Mentally I’m not where I normally am (or) where I want to be. Any match I play, whether I win or lose, helps me. I haven’t played a lot in the last years, (even) two years. I think that helps me physically. I feel much better in practice; it’s just getting that to the court. Literally, I’m the kind of person (where) it takes one or two things and then it clicks.”

Williams started strong in the first two games before being tied 2-2 with Parrizas-Diaz. However, that didn’t last very long. Williams won the final three games to take the first set, then surged ahead in the second after Diaz took a 4-3 lead. Despite this, Williams ends up serving out the victory. 

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