Serena Williams advances to second round in Toronto.

Serena Williams advances to second round in Toronto.

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Three-time winner Serena Williams He defeated Spain 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Toronto Open. Nuria Parisas Diaz While the Wimbledon champion on Monday Elena Rybakina And Simona Halep Also superior.

Williams was forced to dig deep in a nearly two-hour match in hot and humid conditions as she lost her second singles match since returning to action at Wimbledon in June and losing to Harmony Tan in a year-long layoff.

Williams, one of 14 major winners in the final draw at the US Open, held off fourth-seeded Parrizas Diaz in her vintage opener.

The second set was a much tighter one, with Williams serving well in a demanding 18-minute match in which she used her strength to grab four break points to level at 4-4.

After Parizas Diaz sent a backhand backhand, Williams broke her opponent and finished with her first singles win since the 2021 French Open.

Next up for Williams will be an Olympic title. Belinda Bencic12th seed, or check Teresa Martinkova.

Romania’s 15th seed Halep, who retired from her second-round match in Washington last week due to illness, needed just 61 minutes to beat Croatia 6-0 6-2. Donna Vicky.

Halep cruised through the first set in 21 minutes and never looked back as Vekic became more frustrated as the match wore on.

“It’s not about the result, it’s about the way I played,” Halep, who never faced a break point, said in an on-court interview. “I was very aggressive and I played fast so that’s my goal and I’m trying to do that every day.”

Halep, who won two Canadian titles when the event was held in Montreal in 2016 and 2018, will face China in both. Shuai Zhang or qualified in Spain Christina Buxa In two rounds.

Rybakina, who followed up her Wimbledon triumph with a first-round exit in San Jose last week, defeated the Czech. Marie Buzkova 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-1 to secure her first win as a Grand Slam champion.

Next up for Kazakh Rybakina is a clash with both American 10th seeds. Coco Gauff Or Madison Brengle.

Canada’s 13th seed Laylah Fernandez The evening session begins in Toronto against Australia Before the storm before Venus Williams It connects to Switzerland. Jill Teichman.

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