Serena Williams eased into the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal with a straight-set victory over Belgium’s Elise Mertens.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion, 37, gained 6-3 6-3 to set up a tie with Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova. Eighth seed Williams – gambling in her first fit when you consider that losing the Wimbledon very last – final won the name in Montreal in 2013 and is using this 12 months’s event as a warm-up for the USA Open, which begins on 26 August, wherein she will go for a report-equalling 24th Grand Slam identify.
After a sluggish start, wherein Mertens went an early cut up, world number 10 Williams fought returned to win five consecutive video games earlier than serving out the opening set. In the second one set, 23-year-vintage Mertens broke Williams’ serve at the first possibility but Williams quick answered and went a double split.
She sealed the fit on ruin factor with global variety 20 Mertens having made 8 double faults and 19 unforced errors within the in shape.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Naomi Osaka moved a step in the direction of regaining her international number one ranking after her opponent Tatjana Maria retired at 6-2 down. Ashleigh Barty’s 2nd-spherical defeat saw her surrender her eight-week reign as international number one, with Karolina Pliskova also within the running to take over on the top.
Czech third seed Pliskova beat American Alison Riske 6-four 6-7 (four-7) 6-2 to set up a meeting with Anett Kontaveit within the next spherical. Elsewhere, defending champion and fourth seed Simona Halep beat American Jennifer Brady four-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) at the same time as 6th seed Elina Svitolina – winner in 2017 – defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-3 3-6 6-3. Belinda Bencic – champion in 2015 – beat Julia Goerges in straight sets but there have been defeats for Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.