Serena Williams wins first match at Indian Wells in return to tennis

Serena Williams won her first match in her comeback at the BNP Paribas Open after a 14-month layoff for the birth of her first child.

The 23-time major winner defeated Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-3 in the first round Thursday night.

“It was incredible,” Williams said on court after the 1½-hour match. “It’s been over a year and a kid later and I get to go home to her now, and I’m excited about that.”

With husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian looking on, Williams played from behind until breaking Diyas in the 11th game.

Williams served a love game capped by a 100 mph ace in her first service game. She had break points in the first and fifth games but couldn’t convert. She started hitting harder and her familiar grunting returned when she tied the set 5-all.

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