Serena Williams makes triumphant return at Indian Wells

Former world No. 1 Serena Williams made her lengthy-awaited return to the WTA Tour because the 23-time grand slam champion superior to the second spherical of the Indian Wells Masters.

Williams gave delivery to daughter Alexis Olympia in September however Thursday — Worldwide Ladies’s Day — noticed the tennis nice again in a essential draw for the primary time since profitable the 2017 Australian Open in Melbourne.

The American celebrity had featured in the USA’ Fed Cup victory over the Netherlands after opting to not defend her Australian Open crown in January, whereas she stepped up preparations for Indian Wells by enjoying the Tie Break Tens occasion at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York on Monday.

And the 36-yr-previous didn’t look misplaced at the event she has gained twice beforehand, showcasing her trademark energy and groundstrokes as she noticed off Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-three.

Unsurprisingly, there was an enormous crowd in attendance to observe the American veteran grace the courtroom as soon as extra, however her first level led to a skewed volley at the web.

Whereas there have been some indicators of rustiness and understandably so, Williams not often missed a beat, incomes 5 break factors, together with 4 within the fifth recreation, although Diyas proved an immovable drive on serve.

The match stayed on serve till the eleventh recreation, when Serena claimed the decisive break after Diyas hit a forehand into the web — her sixth break level — earlier than closing out the set.

It was a topsy-turvy second set, in full distinction to the primary because the pair exchanged breaks for 4 consecutive video games to be tied at three-three.

That development continued for a fifth straight recreation — Williams prepared herself to a different break and a four-three lead benefit, however she managed to right away consolidate and transfer into the subsequent spherical.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN   
Williams bt Diyas 7-5 6-three

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS   
Williams – 34/27
Diyas – eleven/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS   
Williams – four/four
Diyas – three/1

BREAK POINTS WON   
Williams – 5/eleven
Diyas – 2/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE   
Williams – fifty eight
Diyas – sixty one

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE   
Williams – sixty three/sixty four
Diyas – 60/forty

TOTAL POINTS   
Williams – seventy five
Diyas – sixty two