Serena Williams Wins First Comeback Match 14 Months After Welcoming Daughter

Victoria Azarenka also made a winning return to competition

"My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back". I kind of went there knowing that I'm not going to be where I want to be in the first few matches. After that it was a matter of gradually asserting herself by taking control of the rallies, and she got the first break of serve in the 11th game of the first set and secured the set in the next game on her third set point.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said: "It definitely wasn't easy but it was good".

Williams said she nearly cried before her match because she missed her daughter, who was sleeping at their home while the rest of her family watched in the stands.

The Belarusian was making her first appearance since Wimbledon 2017.

On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Serena Williams took to Instagram to announce her triumphant return to the tennis court in her first professional match since welcoming her daughter, Alexis Olympia, last fall. "I can't like play with her right now". Then the crowd were largely appreciative but their patience tested later in the tournament when Williams had to pull out of her semi-final against Simona Halep.

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She's playing under a protected ranking of 22nd and hasn't been unseeded at a tournament since 2011 in Cincinnati.

"Walking out on court I felt so much love and nearly had tears in my eyes", Azarenka said. "For me, it's a real joy to be out here". "It's been over a year and a kid later and I get to go home to her now, and I'm excited about that".

Williams faces 29th-seeded Kiki Bertens in the second round. However, as rusty as Serena was, well she was Serena!

"It truly means the world to me to just be able to be here, to play, to enjoy myself and do what I love to do", she said. "I don't know if it's going to be for her or for me more".

Ohanian bought four billboards along Interstate 10 outside Palm Springs in tribute to his wife. One of them has a photo of Williams and their daughter and carries the caption "G.M.O.A.T", denoting the phrase "greatest mother of all time". "It's absolutely my favorite thing", she said. "I never thought about that".

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