Serena breaks 430-day drought

SERENA Williams has broken her 430-day winless drought by defeating Spaniard, Nuria Parrizas Diaz in straight sets. The American 23-time Grand Slam winner proved too good for the lucky loser, finally getting her first win in more than a year at the National Bank Open in Toronto. Williams’ Round of 64 victory was one of 12 in the women’s singles completed on day one of the tournament as the WTA 1000 event kicked off.

Currently unranked, Williams was able to ease back into WTA Tour life with a 6-3 6-4 triumph over Parrizas Diaz in an hour and 58 minutes on Centre Court. The United States representative served seven aces and won 67 per cent of her first serve points off a 67 per cent clip, whilst saving seven of the eight break points against her. She also broke three times from five chances herself, and won 43 per cent of her return points to book a spot in the second round against either Swiss talent Belinda Bencic or Czech Tereza Martincova.

Unfortunately it was not all good news for the Williams family, with older sister Venus going down to Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann in straight sets. Ottherwise it was a good day for the Americans, with qualifier Asia Muhammad, Sloane Stephens and Alison Riske-Amritraj joining Serena Williams in the second round. Stephens and Muhammad’s entry into the Round of 32 came at the expense of Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys.

Home nation representative Leylah Fernandez was the highest seed in action – with the top 12 receiving a bye in the first round – and the Canadian defeated Australian qualifier Storm Sanders 6-4 6-7 6-3. The other three seeds in Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko all advanced too in straight sets, with Pliskova’s victory over former world number two and compatriot Barbora Krejcikova the most impressive of the trio. Kazakhstan duo Yulia Putintseva and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina stamped their tickets into the second round round, as did Frenchwoman Alize Cornet and Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The men’s ATP 1000 singles draw in Montreal had a much quieter day, with just four matches completed. Jenson Brooksby stormed to an impressive win over Alexander Bublik, but Brooksby’s compatriot Mackenzie McDonald was not as lucky, going down to Slovakian Alex Molcan. In other results, Russian Karen Khachanov defender Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, while Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori knocked off Stan Wawrinka in three sets.


Montreal – ATP 1000 | Hard

Round of 64:

Jenson Brooksby (USA) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-2 6-3
Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 7-6 5-7 6-3
Alex Molcan (SVK) defeated Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 7-6 6-4
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) defeated [PR] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 6-3 3-6 6-3

Toronto – WTA 1000 | Hard

Round of 64:

[13] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) defeated [Q] Storm Sanders (AUS) 6-4 6-7 6-3
[14] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 6-3 6-4
[15] Simona Halep (ROU) defeated [LL] Donna Vekic (CRO) 6-0 6-2
[16] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 6-4 6-2
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Caroline Garcia (FRA) 3-6 6-3 6-3
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-2 2-6 6-2
[Q] Asia Muhammad (USA) defeated Madison Keys (USA) 7-6 6-4
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-2 5-7 7-5
Serena Williams (USA) defeated [LL] Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) 6-3 6-4
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated [WC] Katherine Sebov (CAN) 3-6 6-2 7-5
Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated [Q] Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 7-5 3-6 6-1
Alison Riske-Amritraj (USA) defeated Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6-2 4-6 6-3
Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated [WC] Venus Williams (USA) 6-2

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