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Serena Williams: Baby Alexis watches mom at Fed Cup

Serena Williams: Baby Alexis watches mom at Fed Cup

Serena Williams was understandably far from her best in her return to competition on Sunday but the greatest player of her generation said it was a positive step towards her goal of returning to the pinnacle of her sport.

Serena Williams, playing her first official match since having a baby, and older sister Venus were beaten in a doubles dead rubber by Holland in the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina, yesterday morning (Singapore time). It also marks the first time Serena has competed in a professional match since giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. back in September. "I've been training and it was just exciting to be out there", she said. "I didn't expect to, I don't know, have that much power on my serves, even though they didn't go in". I think obviously she's going to be disappointed she lost, but I think she realized from that match, 'I need more matches like this.' I think she's going to be fine. "So I feel like that I'm on the right track". Both were in attendance over the weekend, seated just behind the players' box.

Ahead of the tie, Serena had refused to be drawn on her Grand Slam hopes for the year.

Despite having not played a competitive singles match since last year's Australian Open final, which she won, she is still ranked 22 in the world by the Women's Tennis Association.

"It was really special to be back out here with Venus and we're so happy Team USA won today", Williams said after the game. Maybe that's why I felt like I did better. On Sunday, the raucous crowd that brandished large American flags, did the wave and honked on vuvuzelas at a crowded U.S. Cellular Center was eager to cheer for her once again.

Early in the match Serena showed the effects of her lengthy layoff, perhaps most noticeably when she shanked a routine volley that left her bent over in embarrassment.

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