Serena Williams' return will be her biggest challenge, says coach Patrick Mouratoglou

She continued: 'I'm ready or I wouldn't be playing.

Williams' sister Venus also participated, losing her only tie against Svitolina, and is hopeful about her sibling's impending Tour return. There are three grand slams left this season.

The 36-year-old brushed aside second seed Grigor Dimitrov to win his third title at the Rotterdam Open last month, having already been confirmed as the oldest world number one in history as a result of reaching the quarter-finals in the Netherlands.

The birth of Williams' daughter, Alexis Olympia, was followed by complications that scuppered the player's plans to defend her title in Melbourne this year. "I think we can say without a doubt that this is her biggest challenge".

In her exclusive interview with BBC Sport, the American tennis giant admitted that her road to hit ground running has been nothing but a rough patch.

Another one worth revisiting is 2015's "Inner Thoughts", offering up a glimpse at the inner thoughts of some women as they run, lift and stretch toward their fitness goals, and relating to the everyday grind a fitness routine can be, rather than glorifying pro athlete superheroes.

Victoria Azarenka, who has not played since Wimbledon in 2017, will also be back on court at Indian Wells against Britain's Heather Watson.

Serena won her first match against Marion Bartoli of France, the former Wimbledon champion who is ending a 4 1/2-year retirement, but lost 13-11 to Zhang in the semifinals.

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Mouratoglou said there are now "two Serenas". I've always been an extremely motivated person, but my main thing is that I would love for my daughter to be around with me doing great, and playing awesome, so that definitely gives me some motivation.

"Serena's life has changed".

"But Serena stays Serena".

"She takes full advantage of it, she does it better than anybody".

"Having a champion's mindset is not anything situational, it is an attitude, it is a trait of character".

Williams can take encouragement from her performance in NY on Monday. She definitely did not have to. Though she has a 5-0 career record against Watson, an accomplished player in her own right, the extended time off the tour may make this a hard match for Azarenka.

"That is her drive, to keep winning grand slams and hopefully establish her own grand slam record". This is her story, it was important she was involved in every step of the way and really captured her voice.

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