Serena makes the perfect return with Indian Wells win
March 09 2018 10:26 AM
Serena Williams
Serena Williams in action at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

DPA/Indian Wells

Serena Williams made a winning return after more than a year away from tennis by beating Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3 to advance on Thursday at the Indian Wells Masters.
The former world number one was playing her first match since winning the Australian Open in 2017. 
The outing was the first for Williams in 404 days, after she stepped away from the sport to give birth to her daughter in September.
"I was a bit rusty, but it was great to be back out there," the 36-year-old said after defeating her Kazakh opponent in 92 minutes.
"It's been more than a year and a kid later since I last played...in fact I have to go home to her now," she added. 
Roger Federer emphasised he is focused on winning the Californian event, with the top seed saying his motivation is undiminished. 
The 36-year-old has yet to lose a match this season - he stands a perfect 12-0 - after earning trophies at the Australian Open and in Rotterdam last month. He secured the world number one spot after his quarter-final win in the Netherlands.
Federer says he has much to still achieve. 
"You always have something to prove, you can't say it doesn't matter," said the five-time champion of the desert venue.
"I didn't come here to lose 2-2 in the first round. You do care about the moments, you care what the fans think, you care for the result.
"There is always pressure on the top guys, they are always the centre of attention. The expectations are there."
Federer starts his title defence in the second round against Argentina's Federico Delbonis.
The Swiss claimed a trophy hat-trick at the tournament from 2004 to 2006 and also took the honours in 2012 and last year.
The oldest top-ranked player in ATP history is keen to keep a clean slate as he tries to back up the "sunshine double" he won a year ago with titles at Indian Wells and Miami.



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