Serena Williams cools down on practice court

The 23-time Major winner, Serena Williams, is back on the practice court. After spending a couple weeks away from home, Serena headed to Washington and practiced alongside her sister Venus. Williams will compete at the Canada Open in Toronto next week, entering only her second singles tournament in a year. Serena surprised everyone after traveling to Eastbourne in June, competing in the doubles draw alongside Ons Jabeur and building her form ahead of Wimbledon. The seven-time All England Club champion faced world no. 115 Harmony Tan in the opening round and experienced a tough loss. Playing for the first time in a year, Serena experienced a 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 loss in grueling three hours and 11 minutes. Williams served for the victory in the third set’s closing stages and opened a 4-0 lead in the match tie break before finishing on the losing side. 

Serena Williams is back on the practice court.

Tan claimed a tight opening set from 4-2 down, and Williams responded with a rock-solid display in set number two. Serena built a 5-0 advantage and wrapped up the set in game seven on her serve to build momentum. Looking good on the court, Williams forged a 3-1 lead in the decider before Harmony locked the result at 3-3. The American broke again at 4-4 to serve for the victory in game ten and move closer to her 100th Wimbledon triumph. Instead, she played a terrible game to bring her rival back to the positive side. Williams defended a match point on serve in game 12 and opened a 4-0 advantage in the match tie break.

Tan claimed five straight points to erase the deficit and seized the first match point at 9-7 for the proudest moment of her career. Serena will seek a better run in Toronto 22 years after debuting at this event. Williams retired in the title clash against Martina Hingis before winning titles in 2001 and 2003. Serena waited for a decade to lift her third Canada Open crown in 2013 before losing in the semi-final in the following two editions. Williams’ previous run in Canada came in 2019. She played at a high level and defeated Elise Mertens, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Naomi Osaka and Marie Bouzkova to advance into the final. Serena faced a teenager Bianca Andreescu and retired after the fourth game due to an injury.