Serena Williams joins Martina Navratilova on exclusive list

Serena Williams joins Martina Navratilova on the exclusive list

Serena Williams turned 40 last September. The American has stayed off the pitch for almost a year since Wimbledon last year, struggling with injuries and preparing for her retirement. The 23-time Major champion returned to singles action at Wimbledon.

Serena gave her best against Harmony Tan, but it wasn’t enough to win. She fell in the match tiebreak and suffered a massive hit. Williams took a few weeks off and returned to action in Toronto. A three-time Canada Open winner faced Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the first round.

Serena delivered a 6-3, 6-4 triumph in just under two hours. After her 40th birthday, the legend became the fourth player since 2000 to win the WTA alongside Martina Navratilova, Kimito Date and her sister Venus. It was Serena’s first victory since last year’s Roland Garros, which she won 430 days after the last and entered the record books.

Serena Williams celebrated her first win after her 40th birthday in Toronto.

The American scored ten points more than the Spaniard and prevailed at crucial moments. Serena denied seven out of eight break chances and delivered three return games that carried her to the top.

Williams made a nice stop early in the clash and then broke at 30 in game two after the rival’s forehand error. Parrizas Diaz pulled the break straight away in game three after Williams’ forehand drive volley error to put her name on the scoreboard.

Both players served well in the next four games and Serena opened up a 4-3 lead. The American extended her second lead with a backhand drive volley winner in game eight, defending a break point with an ace while serving on the set in the next.

She brought the set home after numerous deuces with a smash winner to make it 6-3 in 41 minutes. The Spaniard held after Deuce early in the second set, and the American equalized with a service winner to make it 1-1. Parrizas Diaz took a comfortable hold to make it 2-1 and created a break chance in the next.

Serena produced stunning shots and denied them with a forehand crosscourt winner for a massive boost. The Spaniard delivered another good serve in game five to make it 3-2, earning another break chance in the next. Serena saved it with a forehand winner to hold 3-3.

Parrizas Diaz saved a break chance in game seven after Williams’ terrible forehand and sent the pressure to the other end. Game eight brought Nuria close to ten deuces and multiple break points. Serena fought but refused to surrender.

She fended them off and ended the game with a service winner for 4-4. Williams earned a break point in game 9 with a perfect drop shot winner and captured it after an extended rally to build the crucial advantage. Serena served for the win in game ten. Her opponent’s error forced her to celebrate her first triumph in 14 months and the first in her 40th year.

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