March 22, 2018

Serena makes return in a losing encounter

16 February 2018, 04:46 | Donald Newman

The 23-time Grand Slam champion played in her first competitive match since winning last year’s Australian Open final

Williams had not played a competitive match since last January

Serena Williams played in her first competitive tennis match in over a year as she lined up alongside her sister Venus Williams in a doubles match at the Fed Cup.

Serena told reporters that her path back had been full of "ups and downs" but credited her sister with helping her find her rhythm.There had been speculation she may drop out of yesterday's doubles match, against Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs, after Serena was the only U.S. player to not attend practice in the morning.

"Sometimes I get really down and feel like, 'Man, I can't do this, '" she admitted. "I played a great match, I didn't lose my serve once", said Kvitova who announced her return to form with the St Petersburg WTA title last weekend.

Later on Sunday, Serena played her first competitive match since winning her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open. I feel like I'm on the right track.' She also added, 'I really don't know.

The Williams lost 6-2, 6-3 with 36-year-old Serena appearing particularly slow on her feet and poor in her shot selection after more than a year away from the sport. "Even though they didn't go in, it's just the start, I feel like that's a very good step in the right direction".

U.S. will face France in the semifinal which is scheduled to take place in April. "It was hard. It was the first time for me". The Czechs, who have won the Fed Cup 10 times, will travel to Germany for the semi-finals in April. Her infant daughter, Alexis Olympia was courtside as her mom and auntie played in a dead doubles rubber on Sunday.

But team captain Kathy Rinaldi confirmed her participation after Venus won her singles match against Richel Hogenkamp to seal overall victory for the US.

Williams beat Arantxa Rus 6-1 6-4 in Asheville - her 20th Fed Cup singles win - in one hour and 21 minutes to take the first rubber. Maybe that's why I felt like I did better. "I'm always going to have the best and highest expectations for myself".

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