Williams has made fleeting appearances since she won in Melbourne 14 months ago while seven weeks pregnant: an exhibition match in Dubai in December and a doubles match for the United States Fed Cup team against the Netherlands last month.
Navratilova though does not expect Williams to win at Indian Wells but is assertive that she can triumph in Miami. In a recent interview with the BBC, she shared some startling statistics that indicate that black women are three times more likely to die from childbirth complications in the US than white women. I feel so special.
Serena is also marking her return to the courts by being a brand ambassador of Lincoln Navigator's 2018 campaign, for which she posted the commercial on her Instagram as well.
As she says: "But I'm proving time and time again that there's no wrong way to be a woman".More news: Attackers try to saw off South African athlete's legs
In many ways, Williams has been like any other mother, sharing problems and pictures, highs and lows, all the way through her pregnancy and throughout the early months of daughter Alexis Olympia's life. I'm just expecting to see where I am more than anything.
Ohanian recruited the help of AdQuick to pull off the billboard surprise for his wife which included four oversize photos of baby Alexis alongside the acronym G.M.O.A.T. One of them is to try and play long enough for her daughter to watch and appreciate what she has achieved. "I'm really happy about that". "It was meant to be I think".
Roger Federer, who is also participating in the tournament and is now ranked as the best male player, has also expressed his joy over Williams' return.
Also set to play Thursday night is another new mom, Victoria Azarenka, a two-time tourney victor who got into the main draw with a wild card. She plays Naomi Osaka of Japan on Wednesday. She fought hard, but again came up short in the break.More news: Porsche unveils Mission E Cross Turismo EV study at Geneva show
In other first-round matches, CiCi Bellis overpowered qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-3.
Williams missed this year's Australian Open because she did not consider herself ready for the tournament.
Bellis led five Americans into the second round. It took her three set point attempts, but she won the first set, 7-5. Taylor Fritz needed three sets to advance in the men's draw as did Mitchell Krueger and Jared Donaldson.More news: Google working on real-time background removal for YouTube videos
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