Serena Williams warns 2018 Wimbledon rivals

Lynette Rowe
July 6, 2018

"Oh, I'm just playing until Roger stops", Williams said.

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., opened with a 7-5, 6-0, 6-1 victory over Britain's Liam Broady while Peter Polansky, also of Thornhill, dropped his first-round match to Austria's Dennis Novak.

No one knows exactly what to expect on the court from Williams, the 36-year-old American who owns seven Wimbledon titles and 23 Grand Slam singles championships overall but has played a total of seven matches in the last 17 months.

Serena Williams swapped the skin-tight catsuit that caused a stir at the French Open for a more conservative look as she marked her return to Wimbledon for the first time since becoming a mother with a 7-5 6-3 first-round win over Arantxa Rus.

Nothing feels as significant in tennis today, though, as what Williams does - because of what she's accomplished in the past and because of what she's trying to accomplish in the present, with a baby in tow. When she returned to the tour in March, her ranking was 183rd.

Some of that big-match experience was on display as the 27-year-old recovered from an early break down in the first set and led Williams 3-1 in the second set before the American flipped the script in fine fashion, winning the final five games of the match to book a second round clash with Viktoria Tomova, who outlasted wildcard Tereza Smitkova in straight sets. She went a few weeks without even attempting to serve, while healing, and insisted she wasnt entirely sure how shed fare with that stroke Monday.

"It means the world to me, also to my wife". Williams improved to 56-2 in her major career against players ranked outside the WTA's top 100.

Maybe so, but Williams double-faulted on the initial point, and dropped in some offerings in the low 80s miles per hour, rather slow for her.

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"Serving good", Rus observed.

Having struggled to establish a rhythm against her Swedish opponent during the opening set, the ninth-seeded Williams won 10 games in a row from 1-2 in the second to take control.

"For me it's just being able to get by, reinvest it into my tennis".

"Almost", Rus lamented later, "like a double-break".

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.

Serena Williams practises on the grass court at Wimbledon, ahead of the start of the 2018 tournament. "I'm very excited to see her attempting an incredible comeback, this time with a baby". Now that Im not playing doubles in this event, I have the day off, I think that will help.”.

"I don't think I ever actually lost that competitive side". We, like, literally do everything. "I'm really happy with my focus as well, point-for-point mentality".

"For me, it's a little frustrating", she added. Something that I would normally be okay with, normally have, 'Oh, this is this.' It's just getting all back to the hang of things, getting used to different circumstances.

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