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Serena Williams return to Professional tennis this Thursday

Serena Williams return to Professional tennis this Thursday

Serena Williams makes her return to the WTA Tour this week at Indian Wells, taking on Zarina Diyas in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open.

"Doctors aren't listening to us, just to be quite frank", she told the BBC after a tennis exhibition in New York City on Monday, noting that black women are three times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or childbirth. I'm just expecting to see where I am more than anything.

Maybe on clay [because] it's her weakest surface.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is competing at the elite Indian Wells hardcourt tournament this week, her first tour action since her 2017 Australian Open triumph.

Serena later revealed that she "almost died" giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia. "She was great. I had a wonderful, wonderful doctor".

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Williams said it's "definitely not easy" to balance her career and motherhood.

Williams could not hide her joy in the lead-up to her return, sharing her emotions across social media platforms. "I'm glad you brought it up because I think it would be fantastic", she said.

"She is one of the best players so it is good that she is back, especially after being a mom. She's so happy. That is my favourite thing, her toothless smile". "Knowing that going in, and some doctor's not caring as much for us, it's heartbreaking".

But Williams says she's aiming to be back at her best - apparently more than comfortable with coach Patrick Mouratoglou's comments to wtatennis.com that her goal for this season "will be to win Grand Slams".

Matt Wilansky of ESPN.com reported the American will play her first match since January of previous year after winning the 2017 Australian Open. Following the birth of her daughter, the 36-year-old superstar took several months off to recover from the difficulties she had during her pregnancy.