Serena Williams wins her comeback match

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

"I think there's a lot of pre-judging absolutely that definitely goes on". Sooooo if you are watching me stop by the Serena booth to grab an "S" pin.

Serena Williams makes her return to the pro tour after a 14-month absence with a first-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

"I think everyone should have high expectations", said Williams, who will be unseeded at Indian Wells and open her campaign against 53rd-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Williams, who spoke about plans to set up a WTA Tour event in Africa for the first time, told BBC Sport that this was something she had "thought about".

In her first singles match in almost 14 months, since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, Williams looked understandably rusty in front of a large centre court crowd.

Williams hopes returning to action now will stand her in good stead for the year's three remaining grand slams, adding: "If I want to play in those grand slams and play well then now is the flawless time to start".

Along with wearing the pin, she encouraged her fans to share the words that begin with "S" that means the most to them.

Williams, the perennial perfectionist, will no doubt be expecting to "move forward" into round two at Indian Wells despite her lack of competitive matches. "Post pics of you wearing your "S" and tag me!" she continued. With new husband and Reddit co-found Alexis Ohanian looking on, Williams played from behind until breaking Diyas in the 11th game of the first set.

Williams did not fluff too many lines on her latest opening night. "I wish I would have made a few more shots". I feel so special. So knowing that going in, or some doctors not caring as much for us, is heartbreaking.

Serena Williams is back on the tennis court for International Women's Day. Sure enough, several small blood clots had already settled in her lungs. Williams and her daughter are now faring well, but women on Twitter rallied together to highlight her experience is not uncommon for women, especially Black women. Then, it just happened, and I was like, 'I don't know.' I just dove right in. "@olympiaohanian & I wanted to welcome her back to tennis".

However, Williams, as ever, will take top billing.

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