February 22, 2018

Petra Kvitova makes emotional Fed Cup return, pays tribute to Jana Novotna

11 February 2018, 10:20 | Joan Schultz

Serena Williams Gets Standing Ovation in NC In Her Return to Tennis at The Fed Cup

Serena all ready for Fed cup

But that is no indication of Williams' inevitable return to singles action after the 24-time Grand Slam champion confirmed she was undecided over her participation in this year's three remaining majors.

When neither Williams sister played in the Fed Cup previous year, Vandeweghe led the its 2017 title by going 6-0 in singles matches and 2-0 in doubles.

Cheered on by her younger sister Serena, who is poised to make her own comeback to the sport after a year away and the birth of her daughter, seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus made relatively light work of 124th-ranked Arantxa Rus, winning 6-1, 6-4. But it also showed tennis fans that the 23-time major victor still had a long way to go, enough so that it prevented her from defending her title in Melbourne.

Caroline Wozniacki, who captured last month's Australian Open in Serena Williams' absence, told, "She's such an fantastic, incredible athlete. Right now my main goal is just to stay in the moment", said Williams, who will team up with world number 62 Lauren Davis in a potentially decisive fifth rubber.

Williams shared sets with Ostapenko before losing a super tiebreaker and appeared a little slow on her feet, even as she played some fine shots.

Serena Williams has not played an official match since winning the 2017 Australian Open, after which she announced that she had been pregnant during the tournament.

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Venus Williams defeated Richel Hogenkamp 7-5, 6-1 on Sunday as the United States clinched a victory in its Fed Cup matchup with the Netherlands.

Baby Alexis Olympia, born in September, was in attendance, too, in the arms of her father, Alexis Ohanian, in the seats right behind them. "It's just great to play the game that I love".

"She's been really, really positive", Williams said. After having her serve broken early in the second set, Vandeweghe tossed her racket onto the hard-court surface, picked it up and slammed it near the net, then headed to her chair and slammed her racket again. You have to get used to that and get in the rhythm of that. "The thing about Serena is she's never going to come back unless she feels she's where she wants to be tennis-wise, physically and mentally". "She's not beating me in long rallies, so let's just run and grind and see what happens".

Venus Williams was asked how motherhood had changed her sister.

"I think she's smart to take her time and not to play Australia", ESPN analyst and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Chris Evert said last week. "She's been really, really positive", she said.

"It actually is a really flawless opportunity to try to come back", Williams said.

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