Serena Williams Returns to Tennis Six Months After Giving Birth: 'It's Official, My Comeback Is Here'
By Tina Smithers Peckham
Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for Kelly Howard
Serena Williams is back in action!
On Wednesday, the seasoned tennis pro announced her comeback just a day before hitting the court in (and winning!) her first professional match since welcoming her daughter Alexis Olympia in September.
"It's official. My comeback is here," wrote the 36-year-old tennis star. "This Thursday I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida -- both my home states."
Williams said that she specifically chose that day -- International Women's Day -- for a reason, adding that she created a special gold "S" pin to support her charity, the Yetunde Price Resource Center.
"Thursday, the day I play my very first match, marks International Women's Day," she explained. "My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back. So I created my Serena Gold toned 'S' pin. When I am playing you can wear it and show support not only from me but also for my charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource Center. I want this gold 'S' mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my "S" pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness."
As part of this week's BNP Paribas Open, Williams went up against Zarina Diyas in Indian Wells, California, on Thursday night, defeating the Kazakhstan player in the first round, 7-5, 6-3, while her husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian cheered from the sidelines.
Earlier this week, Williams told ET that as much as she loves her tennis career, her family will always come first.
"Working motherhood is real. It's so real," she stated. "But I have my priorities and Olympia is that. And Alexis works all the time as well. He's not even here right now, he's working on his new VC fund. So, that's great! But I'm never a day without Olympia. She's my priority and everyday I need to be home with her. I don't wanna miss any moments with her."
The athlete also said that while she does want to grow her family and have another child, she prefers to "wait and see what happens," adding that she has an "undying drive to be the best."
"I definitely want two [kids], God willing," she said. "But right now, I want tennis as well. So, I'm going to wait and see what happens. It's definitely not easy. I have this undying drive to be the best that I can be. Whether it's [being] a mom or playing tennis or doing my designing. I just want to do the best that I can."
For more on how Williams is adjusting to motherhood, watch the video below.