Serena's Comeback, Her Greatest Challenge, Coach Says

Mandy Minella

Mandy Minella and husband coach Tim Sommer welcomed their daughter in October

Serena Williams is ready to tackle the "biggest challenge of her career", according to coach Patrick Mouratoglou, as she prepares to return to the WTA Tour at the Indian Wells Masters.

She last played a competitive match back in 2017 in the Australian Open, where she beat her elder sister Venus in "kins affair" match to clinch the 23 Grand Slam singles crown.

After correcting the protocol for the "rock-paper-scissors" game used to determine who served first, Williams fell behind 4-2, but a double-fault from Bartoli followed by two aces from Serena saw the American great ahead 5-4.

"I hope that I can leave a legacy, something behind where other players will look up to me and think maybe I wasn't just a tennis player but much more than that", he added. Victory over sister Venus in the final left her just one behind Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. "I think she's only going to come out when she's at 100 per cent". The former No. 1 is unseeded and therefore didn't receive a first-round bye.

The 23-time grand slam singles victor gave birth to Alexis Olympia on September 1 and has been working her way back to fitness.

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Serena Williams makes her return to the pro tour after a 14-month absence with a first-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

"Maybe in Indian Wells there will be some cobwebs, but I expect her to win in Miami", Navratilova told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of the Laureus World Sports Awards.

"I embrace being a leader and continuing to pave the way for the next generation". The victor of two tournaments already this year, she won the last seven points to break away from a 3-3 tie against Venus, then swept Vandeweghe 10-0. She also revealed, in a long and fascinating interview for Vogue in January that she had suffered a pulmonary embolism after an emergency Caesarean section, and then returned to surgery for life-saving treatment. "I'm glad you brought it up because I think it would be wonderful".

Williams conceded she's sometimes surprised by how well she's playing when the new mother reminds herself she thought she "would have retired six years ago".

"If I'm not ready now, I'm just never going to be ready".

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