Sports News: Williams wins first WTA Tour match on return after birth of her child


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Former World Number 1 Serena Williams won her first singles match on the WTA circuit for nearly 14 months while she was returning after the birth of his child.

The US, aged 36, reached the second round at Indian Wells with a 7-5 6-3 win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas

C & # 39; was her first singles match on the Tour since she had won the Australian Open 2017

"I am a not rusty but it does not matter, "said the Grand Slam champion 23 times.

"It was certainly not easy but it was good."

Williams received a standing ovation as she walked on the yard.

Her husband Alexis Ohanian was in the crowd while she set up a second-round match with Dutchman Kiki Bertens, 29th seed.

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Williams gave birth to his daughter Alexis Olympia on September 1st.

She says that postpartum health complications – including blood clots in her lungs – were almost life-threatening.

Williams missed the Australian Open in January because she did not consider herself ready for the tournament.

She played an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi at the end of December and a double for the Fed Cup team against the Netherlands last month.

After her victory over Diyas, she said: "It was amazing, it's been over a year and a child later.

" I'm right here on this path doing my best. "

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Analysis – An Impressive Return & # 39;

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Williams did not fluff too many lines during his last opening night. Since she had not played a singles match in competition for 404 days, it was an impressive comeback.

Diyas showed great resilience, saving five break points – but not a sixth – in the first set. back when Williams hit the front in the second

Williams' service proved a solid base, especially in the first set, and there were some powerful winners and softly hit in the middle of the inevitable rust.

The best part of 10,000 people was at Stadium Court 1 to witness Williams' return. One was his sister Venus, a potential opponent in the third round.

Watson beaten by Azarenka in the first round

Victoria Azarenka – another former world number one – also made a comeback California winner, beating No. 2 British Heather Watson 6-4 6-2.

Azarenka, two-time Australian Open champion, was playing for the first time since Wimbledon

She retired from the Open D & # 39; Australia from 2018 due to the guard battle of his 11 month old son.

The 28-year-old Belarusian encountered few problems on her return against Watson, 25, said after the match that she only knew that she would be able to play Indian Wells there a week ago

Asked about the last few months, Azarenka added, "They were not fun."

"I would not want anyone to cross what I went through, but that's part of life."

"I'm free, but it's a very difficult situation and it is difficult to focus solely on tennis.

"One day I will write a book about it, because it is worthy of Hollywood, c & rsquo; Is safe. But right now, I just want to keep a little private. "

Azarenka stated that she would also participate in the Miami Open, from March 19.

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Sports News: Williams wins first WTA Tour match on return after birth of her child

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