Beaten Serena Williams unsure about Australian Open

Rachel Hardy
December 31, 2017

"I'm excited, it's good to be back on the court".

But she failed to fully rediscover her rhythm and quickly dropped the first set 6-2 to the Latvian Ostapenko, the French Open champion.

Serena Williams lost a super tie-break to Jelena Ostapenko but showed glimpses of her dominant best in the former world number one's first appearance after becoming a mother in September. "But as the match moved on, I was less afraid", explained Williams.

'I was a little anxious out there, I was looking at my camp and if Olympia (her daughter) was alright, ' she said afterwards.

This was Williams first outing since winning the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant in January 2017 (a fact that will always be mind-blowing).

The American revealed she struggled to keep her mind on the match, saying in an on-court interview broadcast by Eurosport: "Motherhood is phenomenal. I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th Edition of the Championship very soon".

It was not unlike Andy Murray the previous day in that it took her four or five games to properly find her stride.

Bautista Agut made a strong start to the second set by breaking Anderson in the second game, but the South African broke back immediately to restore parity.

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However, she found more timing as the match progressed, increasing the speed on her serve and moving well inside the court.

After the initial break, Ostapenko latched onto Williams' weak serves and capitalized on several unforced errors to go up 4-1 with two breaks.

Williams said she was delighted with the way she competed.

"In the beginning, it felt a little tough. I knew I was not going to fall over and break", said Williams.

"For me, it is all about physical, how I am feeling physically".

It was the first time a women's match had been played in the traditionally men's only exhibition event.

Meanwhile, Ostapenko sounded delighted in her official statement, mentioning, "I am thrilled to be playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship".

An aggressive Anderson swept the tiebreaker.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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