Serena loses comeback match to Ostapenko

Serena Williams went down in a narrow defeat to Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday in her first competitive match since giving birth.

All eyes were on the American, back on court just four months after the birth of her baby girl, as she took part in an exhibition match against World No 7 Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi.

Serena Williams

While her comeback did not get off to a winning start, it did not take long for the 36-year-old Williams to look the part.

After losing the first set fairly convincingly, she hit back strongly to take the second, before being downed in the match tiebreaker.

Jelena Ostapenko

Ostapenko was ultimately able to secure a 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 victory, but the match could still be considered a success for Williams, who had not played since winning the Australian Open nearly a year ago.

“I’m excited. It’s good to be back on the court,” Williams said after the match.

“This was such a good time for me. … First matches back are always super-incredibly hard, especially after having a baby. It was great. I was glad I could do it here.”

While Williams has yet to confirm her participation in the Australian Open, tournament director Craig Tiley said earlier this month that Williams was “very likely” to defend her title.