16 February, 2018
The 36-year-old tennis pro competed at the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina, over the weekend, marking her first competitive match since giving birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia, with husband Alexis Ohanian last September. That's good. I think that's normal.' Continuing, while speaking about expectations placed on her, she said, 'I'm always going to have the best and highest expectations for myself.
Sabalenka combined with Lidziya Marozava for the first time, and they faced Maria and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who hadn't played Fed Cup doubles since 2011 but had a 3-2 record.
The loss was of no outcome to the USA team, who had already won three matches in the best-of-five tie to progress to the semi-finals against France in April, but it was a useful workout for Williams as she continues to get used to parenthood.
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.
"Sometimes I get really down and feel like, 'Man, I can't do this, '" she admitted. "It gave me a lot of pressure for me to close it out and a lot of pressure for her to stay in and I just handled it a little better".
NCAA Tournament 2018: Selection committee releases top 4 seeds for each region
The rankings could certainly change before the field of 68 is selected on March 11 with more than 1,000 games yet to be played. Auburn's only losses this season have come against teams rated 17th (Texas A&M), 33rd (Alabama) and 39th in the RPI (Temple).
"I didn't know what to expect". I feel like I'm on the right track.
But Serena Williams is not just any mom.
French No. 1 Mladenovic had earlier seen off Australian Open semifinalist Mertens 6-4, 6-4 before Alison Van Uytvanck eased past Pauline Parmentier 6-1, 6-3 to pull the hosts level. This was her first competitive action since her delivery. The Czechs, who have won the Fed Cup 10 times, will travel to Germany for the semi-finals in April. "It was hard, it was the first time for me".
"Serena's gonna be joining her sister Venus!" she announced, to roars of approval before the superstar appeared dressed in a white top, dark blue shorts topped off with a red headband.