A slow moving Serena Williams suffered defeat on her comeback from a maternity break as French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko powered to victory in the “first to ten points” final set at the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament on Saturday.
The 36-year-old Williams looked static and far from full fitness just four months after the birth of her first child and Ostapenko, a 20-year-old Latvian, won 6-2, 3-6, 10/5.
“The first match is always really hard after a break,” Williams said.
“I was just glad to be here,” she said.
The former world No.1 who gave birth to a daughter in September is hoping to defend her Australian Open title when the tournament gets underway January 15.