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Serena has high expectations heading into Indian Wells

09 March 2018

Serena Williams believes now is the "perfect time" to return to the WTA Tour in order to gauge her progress ahead of the year's remaining grand slam tournaments.

In her first singles match in almost 14 months, since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, Williams looked understandably rusty in front of a large centre court crowd. Following the birth of her daughter, the 36-year-old superstar took several months off to recover from the difficulties she had during her pregnancy.

That, and the chance to stick it to those who've tried to put her and her fellow females down all her life. Given she had not played a competitive singles match for 404 days, this was an impressive return. One of them is to try and play long enough for her daughter to watch and appreciate what she has achieved.

"I think there's a lot of pre-judging, absolutely, that definitely goes on", Serena told the BBC.

Williams, who had not played a singles match since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, chalked up 27 unforced errors with 34 winners to defeat her 53rd-ranked opponent in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd in California. "Thanks for the support I look forward to seeing you out there!" "She is a very special and what she has done for women's tennis is huge".

Proud husband Husband Reddit-founder Alexis Ohanian was there in the stands to cheer
She beat with 7 to 5 6 to 3 victory in first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells California

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.

Serena Williams' attractive Vogue cover story inspired lots of oohs and aaahs, but the story that accompanied the cover caused quite a stir online. Williams won, 10 points to five, though that was hardly relevant in the wider context. I'm just expecting to see where I am more than anything. It's been fun [getting back to work], I've been having so much fun being a mom, and having time off is good too...

"And it just kind of happens. I was so excited for this match". But I'm getting there and every day is a new day and every day I should be getting better.

The American is unseeded in the tournament this year and did not receive a first-round bye.

"Obviously it is tough to get back even for a champion like her", Pliskova said Wednesday. In the Round of 128 of the Indian Wells competition, Serena will go up against 24-year-old Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

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Serena has high expectations heading into Indian Wells