Serena returns with slam record firmly in sights

Thursday, 08 Mar, 2018

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.

In fact, the 23-time Grand Slam singles victor is returning to the WTA Tour only six months after she "almost died" giving birth.

"The women's game has records in there that are just beyond, like Martina Navratilova, Serena, you name it, or Steffi Graf for that matter, the Golden Slam", he told a news conference after playing the Match for Africa exhibition. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and gave birth to a baby girl, Alexis.

"I don't need any more motivation, I have the best thing I could ever want right now".

The victor of two tournaments already this year, Svitolina won the last seven points against Venus to win 10-3, before crushing Vandeweghe 10-0 and then powering to victory in the final against Zhang 10-3.

"I would have thought I would have retired six years ago, but I'm still here and I'm playing great, and I think I'll still be playing good".

She was, she afterwards revealed, nearly two months pregnant at the time, and went on to have her daughter Alexis Olympia, in September.

"Serena's target will be to win grand slams".

After using the time to work on her fitness, Williams featured in a Fed Cup doubles match for the United States last month and is scheduled to play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells which starts this week.

"I'm ready, or else I wouldn't be here".

"I think everyone should have high expectations", Williams said in an on-court interview after her loss.

"It would be so [much] fun - the help that we could do, and the awareness and the athletes and the incredible players that would come out of Africa would just be unbelievable", she added. She wants to share there is no wrong way to be a woman. "But she knows she will have to go step by step, it is a long way". The 23-time Grand Slam champion won both of their previous matches, including a 6-2, 6-0 win in Indian Wells in 2015.

"I think it's a wonderful thing and whatever you do, as long as you do it with passion it's all good". If I'm not ready now I'm never going to be ready.