Venus Williams helps U.S. clinch Fed Cup win over Netherlands

Venus Williams helps U.S. clinch Fed Cup win over Netherlands

But Williams, whose triumph in Melbourne previous year gave her an Open-era record 23rd grand slam - one shy of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court - still has a desire to compete in tennis's blue riband events.

"I'd probably chalk it up to rust", said Vandewegh, who is ranked 17th.

For now, she appears to be easing her way in and was not named as the United States' first or second singles player in a powerful U.S. team that includes elder sister Venus, world number 17 CoCo Vandeweghe and world number 62 Lauren Davis.

All eyes were on Serena Williams as she walked onto the court Friday at the U.S. Cellular Center.

And though she insists she has nothing left to prove, one professional goal eludes her - Margaret Court's all-time record for Slam singles titles of 24.

Williams had initially targeted last month's Australian Open for a comeback, but abandoned that ambitious goal after declaring she was not "where I personally want to be". "There is a sense of pride you have when you play for more than yourself".

Serena Williams has not played an official match since winning the 2017 Australian Open, after which she announced that she had been pregnant during the tournament.

Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe won the opening singles matches to give holders the United States a commanding 2-0 lead in their Fed Cup World Group opener against the Netherlands in Asheville, North Carolina on Saturday.

Venus Williams and Rus face off on Saturday at 1pm ET, followed by Vandeweghe and Hogenkamp immediately following.

The anticipation of her return to tennis after the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, was not lost on the local crowd. "I look forward to being the best mom I can be".

"Roger Federer is a really great tennis player", Williams said of the Swiss great.

Kvitova was playing in her first Fed Cup rubber since suffering severe hand injuries in a knife attack in December 2016, with the day's play preceded by a minute's silence in tribute to former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna, who died in November. You have to get used to that and get in the rhythm of that. "She's not beating me in long rallies, so let's just run and grind and see what happens". "I think sometimes motherhood changes people in a way that they become less young and more serious, but that hasn't affected her".

"I thought maybe a few of my balls were flying a little bit", Williams said.

"I'm really excited for her (that she gets to be a ball kid)", Serena said.

The 36-year-old is due to play alongside world number 62 Lauren Davis in the doubles event at the USA's Fed Cup tie against the Netherlands this weekend.

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