Serena Williams shook off the rust Saturday in the United Arab Emirates, dropping an exhibition match to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 6-2, 3-6, 10-5. (The third set was a super tiebreaker.) It was Williams’s first competitive match since last year’s Australian Open; she gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia on Sept. 1.
“I’m excited. It’s good to be back on the court,” Williams said, per ESPN. “This was such a good time for me. … First matches back are always super incredibly hard, especially after having a baby. It was great. I was glad I could do it here.”
Being a mom seems to suit Williams just fine.
“Motherhood is phenomenal. I was a little worried out there — I looked at my camp and asked, ‘Is Olympia okay?’ But it’s good to be back on the court. This was such a good time for me,” she said, according to the BBC.
Williams was approximately eight weeks pregnant when she won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last year. She hasn’t said whether she will be playing in Melbourne this year, though tournament director Craig Tiley said this month that Williams was “very likely” to play in the tournament, which begins Jan. 15.
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