Listen up! Let Serena Williams play singles in Fed Cup on Sunday


The last time fans got to see the 36-year-old tennis legend in action was when she won the women's singles at the 2017 Australian Open over a year ago - while eight weeks pregnant.

Yes, Serena is just five months removed from having a baby, and yes, she had life-threatening childbirth complications.

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 USA team that includes elder sister Venus, world number 17 CoCo Vandeweghe and world number 62 Lauren Davis.

Williams said Friday she's unsure about how she will manage her schedule and whether she will play all three remaining Grand Slam events this year.

It means the 23-time Grand Slam champion will not feature in today's opening two singles, where sister Venus Williams will face Aranxta Rus before Coco Vandweghe takes on Richel Hogenkamp.

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"Honestly, I don't really know about these milestones", she said. "I just had some bad luck, I played players who just were on fire", she said.

But this weekend's headline is the return of Serena Serena, who participated in a Dec.30 exhibition match but otherwise hasn't played since that 2017 Australian Open.

Serena Williams is scheduled to play doubles on Sunday, but will not play singles matches when the United States opens its Fed Cup defense against the Netherlands beginning Saturday in Asheville, N.C.

Petra Kvitova made a tearful return to the Fed Cup on Saturday as she helped 10-time champions Czech Republic into a 2-0 lead over Switzerland in Prague with the two-time Wimbledon victor admitting her team had been inspired by a moving tribute to fellow All England Club champion Jana Novotna.

Barbora Strycova put her country in a commanding position by beating Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-4 after Petra Kvitova was made to fight hard for her 6-2 1-6 6-3 defeat of Viktorija Golubic.

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

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, get in the rhythm of that".

Rinaldi said when Serena agreed to play here, it was unclear whether she'd play singles or doubles.

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

The nominations for tomorrow's matches could yet change, however. Each player held serve the rest of the way as Williams improved her overall Fed Cup singles record to 20-2.

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