New mum, Serena Williams loses in comeback match to Ostapenko
Serena Williams lost on her return to competitive tennis after giving birth, going down to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
It was the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s first match since giving birth in September this year. Her serving wasn’t as fast, her groundstrokes weren’t as crisp and her movement was a bit sluggish. Ostapenko won 6-2, 3-6 and then 10-5 in a super tiebreaker, but Serena still impressed to take a set off the No. 7-ranked Ostapenko after nearly a year away from tennis.
Speaking about her performance, Williams said: “I don’t think I am going to rate my performance. I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being. So, in my eyes, I feel it was a wonderful, wonderful match for me.”
Williams said after the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship that she is still undecided on her title defense of the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 15, but delivered a warning to rivals.
“I don’t know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet. I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships,” Williams said.
“I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there. I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding.”
She added: “Knowing that I have won 23 Grand Slam titles and several other titles, I don’t think I have anything more left to prove. But I am not done yet.