Serena Williams wins in straight sets in her first match since giving birth

Serena Williams looks like she'll be just fine. In her first match since the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while two months pregnant, Williams returned to the court Thursday at Indian Hills, Calif., for her first singles tournament since becoming a mother. The unranked Williams is starting from scratch after missing a year, and she isn't missing a beat. She defeated Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3 to advance and play Kiki Bertens.

If Serena beats Bertens and her sister Venus beats Sorana Cirstea on Saturday, we may see an early matchup between the two.

It's a reassuring sign for Serena, who was clearly still dealing with rust against Diyas. However, she battled through to get the win. Indian Hills is Williams' first step toward another Grand Slam title. At 23 Grand Slam wins, she's one away from tying Margaret Court for the most all-time, and she isn't using her hiatus as an excuse. Winning the majors is the expectation for Williams, according to her trainer.

As for Indian Wells, Williams just wants to take it in.

"I almost cried before the match," the still-new mother said, via The New York Post. "I texted Alexis, I was like, is it normal that I want to cry? I really missed her, but playing at night really helped because I know she goes to bed and she goes to sleep. I can't like play with her right now."

Williams also mentioned her expectations for Indian Wells, which aren't as lofty as those for the season.

"Right now, for this particular tournament, I'm really just trying to take it easy and not put so much pressure or stress or expectation on myself," she said, per The New York Post. "I feel like it's one of the few times I've been able to do that."

Williams initially wanted to make her return this year in Melbourne's Australian Open, but she had to withdraw and took some additional time to train. In many ways, Williams is still recovering from a pregnancy scare and her subsequent rest, but Thursday's match was a good sign. She just gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. six months ago. She can afford to put a little less pressure on herself.

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