Serena Williams plays first tennis match since welcoming baby while sporting meaningful pin

By Robert Peterpaul

Over six months after welcoming her first child with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams made her anticipated return to the court. The new mom participated in her first professional post-pregnancy match, playing against Zarina Diyas as part of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California on Thursday, March 8.

Serena was back to business, defeating Zarina 7-5, 6-3. "It's official. My comeback is here," she wrote on Instagram ahead of the singles match. "This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida—both my home states." To make the occasion even more momentous, it coincided with International Women’s Day, which inspired Serena to do "something different."

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"My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back (if you want of course!!) So I created my Serena Gold toned 'S' pin,” Serena wrote to her fans. “When I am playing you can wear it and show support not only from me but also for my charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource Center.

MORE: Serena Williams welcomes baby girl as Venus plays at Us Open

Serena encouraged fans to stop by her booth and get an 'S' pin Photo: Instagram/@serenawilliams

The athlete continued to explain that she hopes for the shiny accessory to connect with others. “I want this gold 'S' mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my 'S' pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness."

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Winning Thursday’s game means Serena will advance in the tournament to play Kiki Bertens. It also marked her first time back on the court since the 2017 Australian Open, where she won while two months pregnant. Serena has been enjoying being a mom to baby Alexis Olympia, who she welcomed back in September,her other love: tennis. Speaking with ET, she said: "It's definitely not easy. I have this undying drive to be the best that I can be. Whether it's [being] a mom or playing tennis or doing my designing. I just want to do the best that I can."

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