Serena Williams hailed her comeback match against Jelena Ostapenko as ‘perfect’ but stopped short of committing to a defence of her Australian Open title.
The 23-time grand slam singles champion was back on court for an exhibition clash with French Open champion Ostapenko less than four months after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia.
Williams struggled to start with and, despite losing 6-2 3-6 10-5, there was more than enough in her performance to send a message to her rivals that she will quickly be a force to be reckoned with.
Whether she competes in Melbourne next month, however, is yet to be determined.
‘I’m taking it one day at a time,’ she said. ‘I’m going to assess everything with (coach) Patrick (Mouratoglou) and my team and go from there.
‘I don’t know if I’m totally ready yet or not. When I come back, I definitely want to be competing for championships.
‘I think everything is so much easier for me having my daughter at home waiting for me and knowing that I’ve won 23 grand slam singles titles.
‘I don’t have anything to prove but I just want to go out there and play. I’m not done yet.’
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