Serena Williams just won her first title since her return from maternity leave, beating Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-4 to win the Auckland Classic for the first time.
“Oh, it feels good!” said Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles. “It’s been a long time. I think you could see the relief on my face. “It’s pretty satisfying just to get a win in the final. “That was really important for me, and I just want to build on it. It’s just a step towards the next goal.” Serena Williams told @CNN she “almost died giving birth.”
But she remarkably returned to the World Tennis Association Tour six months later in March 2018. Her first appearance had been even earlier at an exhibition match the previous December in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Since her comeback, Williams has played some devastating tennis and reached finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in both 2018 and 2019.
Serena also announced she will donate her $43,000 Auckland prize to Australian bushfire relief.