Serena Williams jumped straight back in where she left off at the Australian Open, returning for the first time since winning the title in 2017 when she was pregnant with her first child.
Williams conceded only five points in the first set and was completely clinical in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria. It was overwhelming for Maria, who got just two of her first serves into play in the first set and didn’t have game points until she held in the fourth game of the second set. She was in tears as the pair hugged at the net following the match, and Williams joined the crowd in giving the German player a clap as she left the arena.
“Yeah, I think the last time I was here, I was pregnant and playing at the same time which is insane,” Williams said. “It’s kind of weird walking back on, by myself this time…Literally the best win of my career,” she said on January 15 in a post-match TV interview. “Just exciting to be back.”