Fri | Feb 23, 2018

Serena loses in exhibition comeback

Published:Sunday | December 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM
American Serena Williams reacts during an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia on the final day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, yesterday.

ABU DHABI, UAE (AP):

Serena Williams lost in her return to tennis after giving birth in September, beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition yesterday and still unsure if she will defend her Australian Open title.

Williams called it a "wonderful" match despite the defeat she took the second set in a score of 6-2, 3-6 and 10-5 in a super tiebreaker.

The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam tournament, begins on January 15.

"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. I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there," Williams said.

"I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding."

The 36-year-old Williams took time off after winning the Australian Open last January while pregnant. She gave birth to her first child, a girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, on September 1. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in November.

Williams struggled with her serve in the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. But, after nearly a year away from the game, she did win a set against the world's No. 7 player

 

WONDERFUL MATCH

 

"I don't think I am going to rate my performance," Williams said. "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 insisted that she has a lot more tennis to play.

"Knowing that I have won 23 Grand Slam titles and several other titles, I don't think I have anything more left to prove," she said. "But I am not done yet."

Williams won her opening game, breaking Ostapenko, but she was nowhere near her best in the first set before fighting back and winning the second.