Former world number one Serena Williams is back to competitive tennis after a five-month break as a result of child birth as she teamed up with sister Venus for the US team in the Fed Cup.
Although the Americans had already won the tie against the Netherlands, the pair lost the dead doubles rubber 6-2 6-3 in what seemed to lok like a last minute changes.
The scoreline was never a reason as demonstrated by the standing ovation and loud cheers that welcomed back the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion.
And among those in the sell-out crowd in Asheville, North Carolina was baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
“It’s great. It’s her first match so I’m glad she got to see it,” Serena said in an on-court interview.
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Serena, playing her first competitive match since winning the 2017 Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant, had been scheduled to partner Lauren Davis for the match against Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.
But with the US having already booked their spot in April’s semi-finals, captain Kathy Rinaldi made the popular decision to pair up the Williams sisters, who have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together.
Serena Williams and her daughter watch the Fed Cup action
Serena had watched some of the earlier action with her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr
Serena, 36, had already postponed her return this year, missing the Australian Open in January to give her more time to recover from the birth.
She had revealed she was bedridden for six weeks and had to have surgery after her daughter was delivered by emergency caesarean section.
She said last week that she had not yet decided whether she will compete at this year’s remaining three Grand Slams.