Serena's return ends in super tie-break defeat to Ostapenko

Clyde Nash
December 31, 2017

It was Ostapenko who ultimately came out on top, winning 6-2 3-6 10-5, but Williams showed more than enough to indicate she could be a force to be reckoned with at the Australian Open in two weeks' time.

The 36-year-old gave birth to her first child in September after revealing she was pregnant during her successful Australian Open campaign last January, where she defeated sister Venus in the women's singles final.

"I don't know, but I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there".

"The first match is always really hard after a break", Williams said.

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It was not unlike Andy Murray the previous day in that it took her four or five games to properly find her stride.

Williams said after the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship that she is still undecided on her title defence of the Australian Open, which starts January 15, but delivered a warning to rivals.

Williams was clearly having problems with her serve and was broken five times in the 17 games. "I am going to assess everything with Patrick [Mouratoglou, her coach] and my team".

The super tie-break was mostly a one-sided affair as Williams made unforced errors trying to be aggressive.

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However, she found more timing as the match progressed, increasing the speed on her serve and moving well inside the court. "I knew I was not going to fall over and break", she said.

There were still some uncharacteristic misses and questionable decision making but Williams' ambition for the new season was evident in her displays of frustration when she fell short of her own expectations.

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

Meanwhile, Ostapenko sounded delighted in her official statement, mentioning, "I am thrilled to be playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. I have had a tough few months and I am just excited to be able to play again".

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The exhibition match in Abu Dhabi against Jelena Ostapenko was the American's first match for 11 months. The 14th-ranked Anderson immediately broke Bautista Agut and was never in danger of losing serve in the first set.

Other reports by Info About Network

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