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Martina Navratilova on why rivals struggle against Serena Williams

11 February 2018

Serena Williams, who was already expecting daughter Alexis Olympia when she won her 23rd Gand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open, is slated to play doubles on Sunday with Lauren Davis.

Williams won't be playing in either of Saturday's Fed Cup singles matches as she makes her comeback five months after becoming a mother.

The United States beat Belarus last year for a record-extending 18th Fed Cup title, their first in 17 years, and are heavy favourites to beat the Netherlands.

"There's been a lot of ups and downs in the practice", Williams told reporters.

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"She's been out becoming a new mom, and she's looking to get back into playing", US captain Kathy Rinaldi said earlier this week.

The 23-time Grand Slam victor also said on Friday she's not sure if she will participate in the remaining Grand Slam events this year, as part of her goal of catching up to 24-time victor Margaret Court.

"As far as the lineup, we have the lineup set for tomorrow, then of course we'll wait and see how tomorrow goes, then we'll make our adjustments, if any", she said.

Sunday's scheduled singles matches have Venus Serena facing Hogerkamp and Vandeweghe taking on Russian Federation. Right now I'm focused on this weekend and after that I'll figure out what it might be.

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"She's been really, really positive", Williams said. "It goes unsaid 25 (grand slams) is obviously something that I would love, but I'd hate to limit myself". Right now my main goal is just to stay in the moment.

Also credited for a newfound sense of zen was her family life with baby Alexis and husband Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit whom she Wednesday in November. You have to get used to that and get in the rhythm of that. "I just had some bad luck, I played players who just were on fire", she said.

The 36-year-old missed the Australian Open in January to give her more time to recover from the birth. "We saw her play an exhibition at the end of last year, but this is a great way for her to start the year and get a couple matches or a match behind her. Maybe she wants to peak for Wimbledon, that would be her best chance at a Grand Slam".

Serena boasts a strong Fed Cup record, with a 13-0 singles mark that includes winning 26 out of her 28 sets as well as a 3-1 doubles record.

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"It actually is a really flawless opportunity to try to come back", Williams said.

Martina Navratilova on why rivals struggle against Serena Williams