Serena celebrates first win on return


Serena Williams said she was rusty on her victorious WTA Tour return, following 14 months away for the birth of her child.

Williams beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-5 6-3 in her first-round match at Indian Wells.

In her straight-sets win, Williams hit 27 unforced errors and 34 winners in front of a large crowd in California.

Williams played aggressively and broke Diyas five times in the match that lasted 92 minutes.

Speaking about her comeback, she said: “It was incredible. It’s been over a year and a kid later. I get to go home to her now and I’m excited about that.”

The 36-year-old gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September last year, but says she almost died after post-childbirth health complications that included blood clots in her lungs.

“It is a journey for me and I am just going to go for it,” she said. “I wanted to stay fit and just be ready.

“I wasn’t ready to retire yet even though it would have been a great way to retire.”

Serena plays 29th seed Kiki Bertens in the second round, knowing that she could face sister Venus in the third round if both progress.