Serena Williams wins on Wimbledon return
Beats Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3
The 36-year-old is bidding for an eighth Wimbledon title
She is back at Wimbledon for the first time as a mom, but Serena Williams was in no mood for nurturing as she blasted her way into the second round.
The 36-year-old took some time to get up to speed, but overcame Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 7-5 6-3 in her quest for an eighth Wimbledon title.
Williams, who gave birth to her daughter in September, won the last of her crowns at SW19 in 2016, which was also the last time she competed in south London.
The 25th seed had to battle from a break down in the second set but went on to win five games in a row to set up a second-round encounter against either Tereza Smitkova or Viktoriya Tomova.
“I am happy to get through that,” Williams later said in comments carried by the AFP news agency.
“It’s a great feeling to be back, it’s been a couple of years since I played on grass, so it is difficult trying to find the rhythm.”
Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion, is chasing the all-time women’s record of nine Wimbledon singles titles, held by Martina Navratilova.
She is competing in her second grand slam since giving birth, having reached the fourth round of the French Open before withdrawing with a pectoral injury ahead of a match against old rival Maria Sharapova.