Most of us had a pretty bleh 2017, but Serena Williams, champion in every sense of the word, managed to have a pretty spectacular year. She got married and had a baby and is still considered the best tennis player on the planet. So does it matter that she lost her final match of 2017 and her first since giving birth? Not one bit.
“I don’t think I am going to rate my performance,” she told the AP, per Vanity Fair. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being. So, in my eyes, I feel it was a wonderful, wonderful match for me.”
The match in question was an exhibition game at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, and the winner was French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. Williams said of her return to the game overall, “I don’t know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet …I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships. I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there. I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding.” Fair enough.
“I don’t think I have anything more left to prove,” said Williams, referencing her dozens of grand slam titles and trove of gold medals. But she’s not done with tennis yet, and the first step was just getting back on the court. “In the beginning, it felt a little tough. But as the match moved on, I was less afraid. I knew I was not going to fall over and break,” she said.
It’s not like she was gone for too long, actually. Williams’ break from the game started in January, when she was already several weeks pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., so she’s beginning and ending 2017 as a tennis player. And she managed to squeeze in a wedding to the Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit.
She even achieved the most rare and elusive award of all: an Instagram shout-out from her close friend Beyoncé.