The return of Serena Williams to competitive tennis isn’t going as planned so far. After she and her sister Venus suffered a defeat in the first round of Fed Cup, Serena also had an early exit at the Miami Open on Wednesday. The 36-year-old was defeated 6-3, 6-2 in the tournament’s first round by 22nd WTA ranked Naomi Osaka.
The 20-year-old Osaka entered the match fresh from winning her first ATP title at the Indian Wells. After the match against Williams, Osaka said that she was nervous playing her and that she just wanted to avoid being swept by her idol.
“She’s the main reason I started playing tennis,” – said Osaka. “I just wanted her after the match to know who I am. She said ‘good job’ and stuff. I kind of blanked out, but I’m pretty sure she said ‘good job.‘”
Naomi Osaka, who has a 14-4 record this year, will face the fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina in the next round.
This was just the fifth time that Serena Williams was eliminated in the first round of a singles tournament in her career with the last time being at the 2012’s French Open. Williams has won the Miami Open record eight times.
After winning the 2017 Australian Open, Serena Williams revealed that she is expecting a baby and took a break from competitive tennis. She gave birth to a daughter named Alexis Olympia in September 2017. Although it was rumored she will make an appearance at the 2018 edition of Australian Open, Williams decided to skip the tournament, citing a lack of sufficient preparation. Her first competitive tennis match came in February, when she and Venus suffered a 6–2, 6–3 defeat to Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs in Fed Cup.