Serena back in action

Sheri Evans
December 31, 2017

Williams who gave birth to her first child earlier this year will play current French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko on day three (December 30) at 5pm as she prepares for the year's first Grand Slam next month.

Williams admitted her mind wandered to her child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., during the match.

The Florida resident struggled with her movement early on but eventually got into her stride before going down 6-2 3-6 (10-5) to the French Open champion.

The 36-year-old American was last seen in action winning the Australian Open for a modern-era record 23rd Grand Slam title in January.

"I'm excited, it's good to be back on the court. But it's really good", she said in her on-court interview.

The 33-year-old former US Open champion says she expects to play next summer's circuit at least and will be looking to improve on a first-round exit at Pat Rafter Arena last summer to seeded Garbine Muguruza.

Former world number one and 12-time Grand Slam title victor Novak Djokovic will be more unsafe than ever when he makes his long-awaited return from an elbow injury, top 10 rival Dominic Thiem said Wednesday.

"To do well here would be an awesome feeling but I'm not going to weigh my whole year and rest of career on the next three, four weeks", she said.

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Her opponent, Jelena Ostapenko, has won two WTA titles this year, including her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.

Williams insisted she has a lot more tennis to play.

Williams won her opening game, breaking Ostapenko.

In the super tiebreaker, Ostapenko raced to an 8-2 lead before halting a brief recovery by Williams.

She clinched the set when she showed off fine athleticism to reach a drop shot which caught the top of the net, but then fell short in the decisive match tie-break, too many errors allowing Ostapenko to clinch victory.

"We all know what Djokovic is capable of", said Austria's Thiem who is also playing in the six-man Abu Dhabi field.

U.S. Open runner-up Kevin Anderson defeated Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 7-6 (0) in the men's final.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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