- Serena Williams has returned to competitive action for the first time since maternity
- She however lost her first official match as she and sister Venus Williams were beaten in a doubles dead rubber
- Serena was not alone as she was cheered by two special fans - her husband and her daughter Alexis Olympia
23 times grand slam winner, Serena Williams, has returned to competitive action for the first time since maternity and she was not alone as she was cheered by two special fans - her husband and her daughter Alexis Olympia.
The tennis legend's five-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, was in the sellout crowd at the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday, February 11 carried by her dad.
The 36-year-old Serena lost her first official match as she and sister Venus Williams were beaten in a doubles dead rubber by the Netherlands.
Serena showed sign of brilliance in the game despite not playing competitively since her triumph at the 2017 Australian Open.
Though she was a bit match rusty and it was evident in the 6-2 6-3 loss to doubles specialist Demi Schuurs and world number 165 Lesley Kerkhove.
Speaking after the match at the US Cellular Arena, Serena said: "It's great. It's her first match so I'm glad she got to see it,"
Early in the match Serena showed the effects of her lengthy layoff, perhaps most noticeably when she shanked a routine volley that left her bent over in embarrassment.
But shortly after, the owner on an Open-era record 23 grand slam singles titles drew wild cheers when she confidently stepped to the net and stretched out to drive home a superb backhand volley.
Despite the loss, it was a positive step for Serena, who was bedridden for six weeks from a series of complications, including a pulmonary embolismm that led to multiple surgeries, after her daughter was delivered by emergency caesarean section.
Serena did suffer an exhibition defeat last December in Dubia to Jelena Ostapenko which prompted her to decide against playing the Australian Open because of fitness concerns.
The doubles dead rubber had no impact on the best-of-five tie as it was played after Venus gave the United States an insurmountable 3-0 lead that put the reigning champions into the April 21-22 semi-finals against France.
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