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Novak Djokovic more unsafe than ever, says rival Dominic Thiem

31 December, 2017, 02:38 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Novak Djokovic determined to learn from injury misery

Serena Williams lost in her return to tennis after giving birth in September, beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition Saturday and still unsure if she will defend her Australian Open title.

But she failed to fully rediscover her rhythm and quickly dropped the first set 6-2 to the Latvian Ostapenko, the French Open champion.

World No 7 Ostapenko, who enjoyed a superb 2017 season that included winning her first grand slam title at the French Open at Roland Garros, said it was unbelievable to play Williams. The American great was back on court on Saturday night for her first match after an nearly one-year break - but it was not the result she was hoping for. "But it's really good", she said in her on-court interview.

"I don't know, but I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there". This was such a good time for me.

"To do well here would be an wonderful feeling but I'm not going to weigh my whole year and rest of career on the next three, four weeks", she said.

Williams also has more grand slam singles titles - 23 - than the age of her rival Saturday, Ostapenko. The younger Williams who has 72-career titles has been top of the Women's rankings for 319 weeks and posted her fifth consecutive top-three finish previous year having won at Wimbledon and Rome.

Brian Lott, Chief Communications Officer of Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, added, "For the tennis fans in the UAE, having Serena here as part of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship weekend is a thrilling opportunity to see even more world-class tennis".

Williams again struggled with her serve in the second set.

In the super tiebreaker, Ostapenko raced to an 8-2 lead before halting a brief recovery by Williams. "I have had a tough few months and I am just excited to be able to play again".

"It is dubbed an "exhibition", but the tennis this week in Abu Dhabi is great - it is very competitive and everyone is going to give it their all".

"We all know what Djokovic is capable of", said Austria's Thiem who is also playing in the six-man Abu Dhabi field. The 14th-ranked Anderson immediately broke Bautista Agut and was never in danger of losing serve in the first set.


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