Williams, whose last singles win came at Roland Garros 2021, had to battle to defeat Párrizas Díaz in nearly two hours, despite what the straight-sets scoreline might suggest.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion lost serve just once in the match, but saved seven break points – including four when trailing 3-4 in the second set – to save Párrizas Díaz , ranked No. 57 in the world. .
That means Williams will face either Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova in the second round on Wednesday.
Asked on Monday what drives her to play at this late stage in her career, Williams said: “I guess there’s just a light at the end of the tunnel… Lately it’s over for me. I can’t wait to have in this light.”
“I love acting, so it’s amazing. But, you know, I can’t do this forever,” she added. “Sometimes you just want to do your best to enjoy the moments and do your best.”
Against Párrizas Díaz, Williams showed signs of his signature ball-striking as he hit 32 winners, seven of which were aces.
Venus, 42, was also in action in Toronto on Monday, but lost 6-2 6-3 to Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.