nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Serena 'can't wait' to return

07 March 2018, 12:10 | Nina Perez

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

The elder Williams sister has not played an official singles match in 15 months since winning last year's Australian Open, but her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has said the 23-time grand slam victor expects to be in tip-top condition for the year's second slam come May. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and gave birth to a baby girl, Alexis.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion will return to the WTA Tour at Indian Wells in California, where she will begin the campaign against Diya in the round of 128 on Wednesday.

"It [still] feels different", Serena said in quotes reported by the WTA Tour. "That's the message that I'm sending", said the American, who will be unseeded at Indian Wells.

"They hung around and did awesome for the game and I'm just really happy for them, to be quite honest".

"I mean, the matches are definitely a good way to know where you are, but obviously she knows how to play", the 37-year-old Venus said.

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

Serena Williams has admitted she nearly walked away from tennis following the birth of her first child, adding that there are still days when she doubts how she can "keep going".

Williams, who is unranked as she has spent more than 12 months away from the tour, has been drawn to play Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the first round in Indian Wells. Second-ranked Rafael Nadal will not play because of a right hip injury he sustained at the Australian Open in January.

'She's going to bring that instinct on the court with her, so I don't think she's too anxious about that'. "There have been so many days, even still, when I'm like, 'how am I going to keep going?'"

Her coach since 2012, Frenchman Mouratoglou has been with Williams for 10 of those major wins, and he said he believes there are no limits to what she can achieve.

"She took the decision to come back to tennis".

"Of course, winning the first tournament of the year was a great start for me", Svitolina said.

"I do feel she is the same person once she steps on a tennis court".

"My expectations, I don't know what they are".

After all, the former world number one only gave birth six months ago, and six weeks of that time was spent in bed as she recovered from emergency surgery.

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