Serena Williams earned her first singles win in 14 months as she defeated Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the Canadian Open in Toronto on Monday.
The 40-year-old American was competing in only her second match this season in defeating the 57th-ranked lucky loser to reach the second round.
Her last singles win came at the 2021 French Open.
“I guess there’s just a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m getting closer to the light,” said the 23-time singles Grand Slam champion.
“I can’t wait to get to that light. I love playing though, it’s amazing but I can’t do this forever.
“Sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments and do the best that you can.”
The match took two hours, with the veteran winning a 25-minute game to level 4-4 in the second set.
Williams earned her first title in Canada in 2001 and her third and most recent nine years ago.
Another multiple Grand Slam champion also advanced on opening day, with Simona Halep sweeping the opening seven games on her way to a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Donna Vekic to also reach the second round.