Serena Williams falls in first match since giving birth

Blake SchusterYahoo Sports Contributor
Busted Racquet
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1132744/" data-ylk="slk:Serena Williams">Serena Williams</a> serves to <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1214574/" data-ylk="slk:Jelena Ostapenko">Jelena Ostapenko</a> during the final day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. (AP Photo)
Serena Williams serves to Jelena Ostapenko during the final day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. (AP Photo)

Whenever the incredible story of Serena Williams’ career is finished, a loss at the World Tennis Championship in 2017 won’t be much of an interesting footnote.

Even one of the greatest players in the history of the sport doesn’t win every match.

What will be remembered from a 2-6, 6-3, 5-10 defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi is that after a year away from professional competition, after giving birth in September, getting married in November and adjusting to huge changes in her life, Williams stepped back on the court and proved — once again — that she won’t be stopped.

“It’s my first time playing in Abu Dhabi so thank you guys for the support,” Williams said on the court following the loss. “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.“

This was Williams first outing since winning the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant in January 2017 (a fact that will always be mind-blowing). And while stepping out on the court is nothing new, stepping away from her child to do so certainly is.

“I was a little worried out there and I looked at my camp and I was like ’Is Olympia OK?’. But it’s really good.” Williams said.

The 2018 Australian Open kicks off in nearly two weeks with Williams expected to participate. Back-to-back victories after everything Williams has gone through in the past year somehow wouldn’t be surprising, not that it would be any less amazing.

With Williams you’re always ready to witness the improbable. Even in an exhibition loss.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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