April 25, 2018

Serena Williams' comeback at Mubadala World Tennis Championship ends in defeat

31 December 2017, 12:09 | Ken Black

Serena Williams' comeback at Mubadala World Tennis Championship ends in defeat

Serena Williams set for likely Australian Open comeback post-pregnancy

The American great was back on court on Saturday night for her first match after an nearly one-year break - but it was not the result she was hoping for.

Williams looked far from full fitness just four months after the birth of her first child, and the former world No. 1 admitted it was not easy for her as she was constantly anxious for her baby.

The 36-year-old took the court for an exhibition match against the Latvian in Abu Dhabi.

Williams, normally a gritty fighter on court, was unfazed by the defeat in front of an appreciative crowd and was in a jovial mood in the interview after the match, which ended with Serena sending a backhand return wide.

Williams admitted her mind wandered to her child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., during the match.

"Motherhood is phenomenal. I was a little anxious out there and I looked at my camp and I was like 'Is Olympia OK?'. I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships", she said, refusing to commit yet to the Australian Open, which starts in a little over two weeks. It was really cool. "First matches back are always super incredibly hard, especially after having a baby but it was great, I'm glad I could do it here".

The Mubadala World Tennis Championships suffered multiple blows to their tournament field after former world number ones Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, alongside 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic all withdrew from the tournament citing injury precautions for the new season.

"It's pretty fantastic to play Serena and it's a great place to be here".

"And, I could not make that call for a long time until, I got to the point where the universe just sent me something, that it was inevitable for me".

"Given the changes and everything she would've gone through I wouldn't expect her to be out here if she doesn't feel like she's ready to play at her best".

Her last match was the Australian Open final, which she won despite being two-month pregnant.

Serena Williams may have lost on her comeback from a maternity break but she declared that she was happy to be back on court, as she takes baby steps towards getting herself fit to possibly defend her Australian Open title next month.

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