Serena has high expectations heading into Indian Wells
New York: Serena Williams said Monday that she "can't wait for the future" as she warmed up for her return to the WTA Tour at the Tie Break Tens exhibition at Madison Square Garden.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion is competing at the elite Indian Wells hardcourt tournament this week, her first tour action since her 2017 Australian Open triumph.
Williams was pregnant when she lifted the trophy in Melbourne last year, and missed the rest of 2017 awaiting the birth of her daughter in September.
Monday's event, which featured eight players facing off in 10-point "super tie breaks" as they vied for a $250,000 winner's prize, was a chance to sharpen her skills.
Williams bowed out in the second round, gaining a 9-7 lead over China's Zhang Shuai but eventually falling 13-11.
"It was good," she said of the experience. "I wish I would have made a few more shots."
Williams opened the laid-back event with a 10-5 victory over Marion Bartoli, the 2013 Wimbledon champion who announced in December she was planning to return to the court more than four years after retiring in the wake of her only Grand Slam triumph.
After correcting the protocol for the "rock-paper-scissors" game used to determine who served first, Williams fell behind 4-2, but two aces from Serena saw the American great ahead 5-4.