Now is the flawless time, says Serena Williams

Tennis Seles backs Serena Williams to be a grand slam contender in 2018

Serena Williams has admitted she nearly walked away from tennis following the birth of her first child, adding that there are still days when she doubts how she can "keep going".

The elder Williams sister has not played an official singles match in 15 months since winning last year's Australian Open, but her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has said the 23-time grand slam victor expects to be in tip-top condition for the year's second slam come May.

The 33-year-old looked as bulked up as she was during her prime even as she bowed out in the quarter-finals following a 5-10 defeat at the hands of American veteran Serena Williams.

"I don't agree with Margaret and her thinking", said the ESPN analyst and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion. As we approach International Women's Day, Nike wanted to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women everywhere and share our belief in gender equality, in this case, delivered by Serena Williams, the greatest athlete of all time.

"Recovering from a surgery, then from a blood clot, going two years without winning a grand slam, she finally comes back at 30 years old to win 10 more grand slams and to stay No 1 in the world for three-and-a-half years - her longest period of dominance".

'As long as I'm moving forward, even if it's at a turtles pace, I'm okay with that'.

It's hard to know what kind of form Williams is in because she's played only exhibitions and a dead doubles rubber recently, but she beat 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli in the first round of Tie Break Tens before going out to Shuai Zhang in the semifinals. "I feel so lucky to be out here, and I'm ready to play". If I'm not ready now, I'm just never going to be ready. "I have high expectations, and I think everyone should set high expectations for themselves".

She drew Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the first round of the women's singles. He said he sees the same determination in practice, but wouldn't know if being a mother had changed her until he saw her competing.

Williams, a victor of 23 Grand Slam titles, is in the same quarter of the draw as older sister Venus. It's just a little different.

" I have the best thing I could ever want right now".

"This is a good time to start for the summer".

"If I want to play in those grand slams and play well then now is the flawless time to start", she said. "I'd be surprised if she won two; I would bet on her to win one".

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