Serena ready for comeback at Fed Cup after ‘ups and downs’
Asheville :Serena Williams has spoken out about the “ups and downs” she faced during her year away from competitive tennis but insists she’s now focused and ready for her quest to once more dominate her sport. Speaking ahead of her comeback at the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina, where the United States will begin the defence of its crown against an unfancied Netherlands team, the 36-year-old said she had the benefit of a new outlook following the birth of her baby daughter Alexis Olympia in September. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs in the practice,” Williams told reporters Friday. “It also gives me another view, it’s almost relaxing for me as I have nothing to prove. Again, just fighting against all odds to be out there again, to be competing again.” Some of that struggle was apparent during an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi in December, where she lost to French Open Champion Jelena Ostapenko. Williams was beaten in straight sets and appeared a little slow on her feet, even as she played some fine shots. She had initially targeted last month’s Australian Open crown for a defence of her 2017 crown, but abandoned that goal after declaring she was not “where I personally want to be.” Perhaps wary of setting another ambitious target, Williams refused to be drawn on whether she had set her sights on the year’s remaining Grand Slams — the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.