Serena Williams got her Rogers Cup campaign off to a good start as she powered herself past Elise Mertens in Toronto.
Williams, a three time winner of the tournament, will now become the highest-ranked American player after Sloane Stephens crashed out of the tournament.
This match was won on Mertens’ second serve, with Williams winning 19 of the 22 points before claiming a relatively routine 6-3, 6-3 win.
“It feels good,” Williams said on court after the match. “I’m a little sluggish. It definitely feels different.
“I haven’t played a ton of matches on hard courts,”
“I love it in Toronto. It’s no secret. I think it’s because of the crowd.”
— WTA (@WTA) August 8, 2019
It wasn’t Williams’ tidiest performance, but she was happy to come through it, especially against such a tough opponent in Mertens.
“I thought she had a really good performance,” Williams added. “I’ve never played her but I’ve seen her play a lot.
“I’ve always wanted to play her because she’s had a couple of really good years on the tour.”
Williams will face Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round.
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