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Serena Williams suffers defeat on comeback, admits daughter DISTRACTED her



New mum, Serena Williams on Saturday suffered defeat on her comeback from a maternity break as French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko powered to victory in the “first to ten points” final set at the Mubadala World Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The championship is an exhibition tournament.

The slow moving 36-year-old Williams looked static and far from full fitness just four months after the birth of her first child and Ostapenko, a 20-year-old Latvian, won 6-2, 3-6, 10/5.

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

“I was just glad to be here,” she said.

The former world No.1 who gave birth to a daughter in September is hoping to defend her Australian Open title when the tournament gets underway January 15.

“Motherhood is phenomenal but I was a little worried out there,” Williams said.

“I looked at my camp and was like ‘is Olympia okay?’.

“But it’s really good. I’m excited. It’s good to be back on the court. This was such a good time for me.”

Williams remains registered for the Australian Open, which starts on January 15, where she will be defending the title she won while eight weeks pregnant last time around.

And while the 36-year-old seemed delighted to be back in action, she did not address the issue of whether she would also play in Melbourne.

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“It’s my first time playing out in Abu Dhabi so thank you for the support. It was really cool,” Williams added.

“First matches back are always super-incredibly hard, especially after having a baby. But it was great. I’m glad I could do it here.”

Assuming Williams does consider herself match fit, she will start the tournament next month as favourite, with bookmakers listing her at 9/2 at the longest.

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