Serena Williams, after a loss to her sister Venus Williams at the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, returned with a win as she defeated Maria Sakkari in straight sets 7-6, 6-2 in her first singles rubber at the Hopman Cup.
Despite looking rusty and slightly sluggish in the first set Serena managed to find her zone in the second set after she strapped up her leg in the middle of he match.
The 23 time slam winner, leveled the tie for USA, after Greece’s Tsitsipas defeated Frances Tiafoe in their singles rubber in a three set affair 6-3 6-7 (3) 6-3 in over two hours.
Despite committing a bunch of unforced errors Serena Williams was pleased with her first victory after a long time. “It’s great to be back out in match day, and it’s great to be back out here,” said Serena Williams. “I love playing in Australia. Some of my best memories are here”, she added. “It was my first match back (today), she(Maria) played unbelievable. Maria is super young and such a good player”, said the American.
Strong start to the season for @serenawilliams.
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) December 31, 2018
“I was making a lot of errors”, said Serena, in her post match on-court interview. “I was like, ‘It’s OK, it’s your first match and you’ll get better’. I just kept trying to think that.”
This is not the first time that Serena Williams has appeared at the Hopman Cup, with this being her fifth appearance here. Serena debuted with American James Blake to help USA win a title 16 years back, and later on returned here to triumph alongside the American Mardy Fish five years later.
She will face Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in a much anticipated clash on Wednesday. Bencic, who breezed through her singles match against Great Britain, is excited to face Serena Williams. “Of course, I’m looking forward to it, as always,” said Belinda Bencic. “Just to play her is already an amazing honour. Hopefully I can do my best and take a point.”