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Tennis 10sBalls News • Serena Williams & Jelena Ostapenko Play Just Four Months After Her Baby • Nike Names A Bldg • Nike Designs A New Shoe

Serena Williams of the USA reacts in an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 30 December 2017. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DOKOUPIL

 

 

By Thomas Cluck

It was a triumphant appearance for 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in Abu Dhabi even though she didn’t win a match. The 37-year-old former world number one made her comeback to tennis just four months after giving birth to her first daughter Alexis Olympia in September, nearly a year removed from her last appearance on a tennis court when she claimed a record-breaking 23rd major crown at the Australian Open.

Williams fell to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-3, 5-10 at the traditionally men’s-only Mubadala World Tennis Championships, though it was a win for the American just being out there as a new mother for the first time.

“When you have the baby and you’re training, and then you go back to the baby, it’s been a while. I don’t know. But I definitely look forward to getting back out there,” said Williams.

 

Serena Williams of the USA in action against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during an exhibition match at the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 30 December 2017. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DOKOUPIL

The 23-time major champion started slowly, looking rusty as expected, but the American did have some impressive signs with solid consistency and movement around the court early. While Williams did drop the opening set to Ostapenko 6-2, the former number one began to improve as the match wore on, with her serve starting to click towards the second set.

 

The 37-year-old would end up clawing her way back to take the second set only for her to drop the decisive ten-point tiebreaker to her 20-year-old opponent 10-5.

Williams made another statement in her return to the court, rocking a bold pink and white exclusive Serena Williams Nike shoe. The American superstar, who recently had a building at Nike Headquarters named after her, has hinted at big things going forward in the shoe department with the clothing giant after dawning custom Michael Jordan “23” shoes following her historic 23rd Grand Slam crown in Australia.

 

While it was a massive step towards her comeback for Williams, questions still exist as to whether the seven-time Australian Open champion will be Down Under to defend her title.

 

When asked about appearing at the year’s first major in Melbourne, Williams commented, “”I don’t know. I’m going to go and just assess what I want, and what I want to do and figure that out.”
“I don’t know if I’m totally ready yet or not. When I come back, I definitely want to be competing for championships,” said the American.

 

Williams is entered to play in Australia and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has expressed his confidence that the seven-time champion will be back on the courts of Melbourne Park in two weeks time.

 

While only time will tell as to whether Serena will be Down Under, her opponent in Abu Dhabi Jelena Ostapenko is beginning her season in China at the Shenzhen Open before heading to the year’s first major.

 

We wish you all A very Happy New Year!

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