The 36-year-old American, victor of 23 grand slam single titles, was making a comeback after taking almost 11 months off to have her first child.
The legendary 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, still hungry for success, will be back in action for the first time since the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr on 1st September 2017. "[But] it's good to be back on the court".
Williams said after the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship that she is still undecided on her title defence of the Australian Open, which starts January 15, but delivered a warning to rivals. "I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there". This will be the first time that women have taken part in the event and it is a huge honour to be part of that history after watching the tournament for many years. "I am going to assess everything with Patrick (Mouratoglou, her coach) and my team", she said.
She started well, breaking Ostapenko's serve in the first game of the match.
Australian Open director Craig Tilley has said Williams is "very likely" to defend her title at the 2018 tournament, which starts on 15 January.
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Speaking in an on-court interview after the match, Williams said: "Motherhood's phenomenal".
Williams struggled with her serve in the second set too but went ahead 3-0 with a couple of early breaks as she started to hit more confident shots, including several crowd-pleasing double-handed passing shots. "So, in my eyes, I feel it was a wonderful, wonderful match for me".
"But it's really good".
"Of course, it is not going to be easy for me after such a great season but I have prepared well and I am just going to try to perform my best at the grand slams and try to stay inside the top-10".
Meanwhile, Ostapenko sounded delighted in her official statement, mentioning, "I am thrilled to be playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship".