Serena Williams marked her return to competitive action with a singles win Monday at the Hopman Cup, but the United States still lost to Greece.
Williams, who played in an exhibition match with sister Venus in Abu Dhabi last week having not previously played since her U’S’ Open final loss in September, battled to a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 win over Maria Sakkari in Perth, Australia.
Yet it was Greece that won the match as Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Frances Tiafoe, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, before teaming with Sakkari for a doubles win.
Tsitsipas and Sakkari beat Tiafoe and Williams, 4-1, 1-4, 4-2, securing a Group B win for their country.
Strong start to the season for @serenawilliams.
The great champion delivered 13 aces, 29 winners and a straight-sets victory in one hour and 44 minutes. #HopmanCup pic.twitter.com/RKycbYfDIP
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) December 31, 2018
Williams, 37, acknowledged she had much to improve on following her singles triumph.
“It’s great to be back out here. I love playing in Australia. Some of my best memories are here,” the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said. “I was making a lot of errors. I was like, ‘It’s ok, it’s your first match and you’ll get better’. I just kept trying to think that.”
Next up for Williams and Tiafoe is a clash Tuesday against the Swiss pair of Belinda Bencic and Roger Federer.