Serena Williams wins 1st match of her professional comeback at Indian Wells

Serena Williams

After giving birth, Williams developed blood clots in her lungs that could have been deadly if she had not sensed something was wrong and insisted on an examination that discovered them.

Serena boycotted this event, with her sister Venus, for 14 years after she was booed in the 2001 final.

The tennis pro is opening up about her family life. Given she had not played a competitive singles match for 404 days, this was an impressive return.

"I'm just happy that both [her elder sister] Venus and Serena are still playing, because I thought a few years back when they were not well, they had injuries and worries, that they were going to leave the game much earlier", Federer said after playing the Match for Africa charity on Tuesday. Williams and her daughter are now faring well, but women on Twitter rallied together to highlight her experience is not uncommon for women, especially Black women.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles victor is ramping up her return this week by playing in Indian Wells, her first WTA Tour event since she won the 2017 Australian Open. At the time, she was eight weeks pregnant.

A couple of forehand winners and a service victor saw Williams take an 8-4 lead, and she finally finished it off with another winning serve.

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After correcting the protocol for the "rock-paper-scissors" game used to determine who served first, Williams fell behind 4-2, but a double-fault from Bartoli followed by two aces from Serena saw the American great ahead 5-4. Williams won, 10 points to five, though that was hardly relevant in the wider context. "I'm just out here on this journey doing the best I can".

"This is a good time to start for the summer. I just want to do the best that I can". But I'm getting there and every day is a new day and every day I should be getting better.

Serena, after her year's absence, arrives without a ranking and thus unseeded, and will first play the 53-ranked Zarina Diyas-a woman who is a dozen years younger than the two-time former champion.

"Obviously it is tough to get back even for a champion like her", Pliskova said Wednesday.

"Maybe in Indian Wells there will be some cobwebs, but I expect her to win in Miami", she said.

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