Moms Serena, Azarenka Win In Comebacks At Indian Wells; Muguruza, Halep Friday
by Staff | March 9th, 2018, 8:15 am

Recent mothers Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka were big winners Thursday night at the Indian Wells Masters.

In her first official tour match since winning the Australian Open in 2017, Serena survived a good effort from Zarina Diyas to advance 7-5, 6-3.

“It was incredible,” Serena said on court. “It’s been over a year and a kid later – and I get to go home now to her.

“It definitely wasn’t easy. I’ve played [Diyas] several times before and we always have a couple of tight sets. I’m a little rusty, but it doesn’t matter. I’m just out here on this journey doing the best I can.”

The unseeded Serena will next face Kiki Bertens on Saturday. She is a 2-time tournament champion winning in 1999 and 2001.

“Right now, for this particular tournament,” Serena added. “I’m really just trying to take it easy and not put too much stress or pressure or expectation on myself. And this is really one of the few times when I’ve been able to do that.

“I went in knowing I’m not going to be where I want to be in the first few matches. It takes time to get back.”

Bertens is the No. 29 seed.

Following Serena on court was her good friend Azarenka who because of issues between her and her ex-boyfriend over baby Leo, it was her first match since Wimbledon. The former No. 1 though had little trouble with the dangerous Brit Heather Watson in a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

“I’m glad to be here, glad to be in the routine,” Azarenka said. “It’s something familiar, but it’s been a while so it’s a little unfamiliar. I’m happy to be in my zone.”

“Probably the hardest thing to do was to lower my expectations today, and just to go out there and try to enjoy the moment, and, for once, be nice to yourself on the court,” Azarenka continued. “Don’t beat yourself up too much if you’re not doing what you think you can do. That was definitely a battle in my head to make that work.”

“My focus was just to be out there and enjoy myself, and not to put too much pressure — but of course I’ve done that in the match, and I wanted to push myself,” Azarenka elaborated. “But just being out there was the most important thing.”

Azarenka will meet US Open champion Sloane Stephens on Saturday.

“A week ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be here, but today I won my first match in however long, so I’ll take it,” she added.

Cici Bellis, Sorana Cirstea and Natalia Vikhlyantseva who beat Vera Zvonareva were also winners.

On Friday, seeds finally take the court led by world No. 1 Simona Halep, No. 3 Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova.

In the men’s draw on opening day, American men went 3-5 to start with Taylor Fritz beating towering countryman Reilly Opelka, qualifier Mitchell Krueger stunning Benoit Paire and Jared Donaldson ousting Evan King.

Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson were among the losers. Harrison blew two match points in a loss to Federico Delbonis who next gets Roger Federer. Johnson was sent home by Daniil Medvedev.

Denis Shapovalov made a winning debut beating Ricardis Berankis.

Today, Gael Monfils, Frances Tiafoe and Tennys Sandgren headline.

STADIUM 1 Starts At 11:00 Am
1st Rd Gael Monfils VS Matthew Ebden
Followed By
1st Rd Frances Tiafoe VS (WC) Ernesto Escobedo
Followed By
2nd Rd 1 Simona Halep VS Kristyna Pliskova
Not Before 7:00 Pm
2nd Rd 3 Garbiñe Muguruza VS (Q) Sachia Vickery
Followed By
Not Before 8:30 Pm
1st Rd Albert Ramos-Vinolas/Fernando Verdasco VS John Isner/Jack Sock

STADIUM 2 Starts At 11:00 Am
2nd Rd 9 Petra Kvitova VS Yulia Putintseva
Followed By
2nd Rd 17 CoCo Vandeweghe VS Kaia Kanepi
Followed By
1st Rd Nikoloz Basilashvili VS (WC) Tennys Sandgren
Followed By
1st Rd (Q) Vasek Pospisil VS (Q) Felix Auger-Aliassime
Not Before 6:00 Pm
1st Rd Feliciano Lopez/Marc Lopez VS Juan Martin del Potro/Grigor Dimitrov
Followed By
1st Rd Marcus Daniel/Diego Schwartzman VS Philipp Kohlschreiber/Lucas Pouille

You Might Like:
Azarenka Romps, Bellis Gets Revenge, Haleps Wins In 3; Venus, Serena Tomorrow
Maria Sharapova And Victoria Azarenka Are Excited To Meet Monday In The Indian Wells Third Round
Azarenka Bakes Bagels, Meets Pliskova In Friday Indian Wells SFs; Serena v Radwanska Rematch
Muguruza Wins Title, Halep Falls Flat, Wins 1 Game in WTA Cincinnati Final
Sluggish Serena Wins In 3, Stephens Crushed; Kerber Tries To Win A Set Friday In Miami

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32 Comments for Moms Serena, Azarenka Win In Comebacks At Indian Wells; Muguruza, Halep Friday

Margot Says:

“Moms Serena and Azarenka.” Gadsbudlikins what’s the matter with you “staff?”
I look forward to headlines like “Four times father Federer” and “Double dad Djokovich” etc etc in the future.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great to have them back. I love watching both of them, though with volume turned down. I hope they both can have strong seasons, would certainly liven up the WTA.

Markus Says:

It’s a lot more strenuous to be a mother than to be a father, hence, the headline.

Margot Says:

No Markus, it’s profoundly sexist. Motherhood does not define Serena. How about the GOAT returns to the courts?

Daniel Says:

Agree Margot,

Moms shouldn’t be the first word of the sentence. “Serena wins first match as a mother” should be more fitting, even with them wanting to highlight her and Virka motherhood.

But I see where Markus comes from, for a woman to get back competitive on court a few months after labour and win is an achievement worht highliting!

Markus Says:

Not everything that differentiates man from woman should be viewed as sexist. Although equal treatment for both sexes should be applied, there are still inherent differences between the two and this we should accept and not view as being sexist.

One of this glaring difference is that only women get pregnant and carry that fetus for nine months. It requires a drastic change in lifestyle not to mention all the physiologic changes that the woman’s body has to undergo in the process. Then, the hardship and risk to life of delivering the baby.

Therefore, it is more a tribute to Serena and Azarenka to come back to play (and win) after having babies that it is for Federer and Djokovic.

In that regard, I view the headline as more of a compliment to the ladies than being sexist. If the headline were about Federer and Djokovic as fathers coming back, then it would be foolish because it would detract from and diminish the sacrifices women have to go through to have a baby. Federer and Djokovic can continue playing (and they have) while their wives carry their pregnancy to completion. They can even play while their wives are in labor. Serena and Azarenka didn’t have that luxury.

Okiegal Says:

Exactly Margot!! GOAT is right! I think Vika’s little one is running her legs off…… WOWZER she looked so skinny on my TV!! Glad they are both back after having started their families. I know that would tough……happy for their wins! Go Mommy go!! 🍼🍼🍼

Humble Rafa Says:

Xisca does not like being a mom. It bothers me. My clock is running.

Okiegal Says:

HR……Your biological clock or the one they’re going to implement during matches?? 🤔🤔🤔 LOL!!

lylenubbins Says:

@ Margot: They both are attempting to come back on the tour after having children. It is normal for people to refer to them as “mothers.” It is not disrespectful nor it is sexist.

Willow Says:

Hmm new moms or mothers, not really sure what there is in the headline that could be deemed sexist or disrespectful, after all we called Federer, Djokovic, Murray new fathers when they returned to tour after their partners had babies ?

Willow Says:

Okie the Nadal family are rich enough to have Xiscas eggs kept frozen and do it that way if they leave it late in life ….

BBB Says:

I don’t mind the headline in this context.

Humble Rafa Says:

HR……Your biological clock or the one they’re going to implement during matches?? 🤔🤔🤔 LOL!!

I don’t bother about match clocks. I know that the umpires will ignore them if I ignore them.

Margot Says:

Of course coming back to any sport professionally after having a child involves hard work and dedication but getting to be a multi slam champion and a world class athlete involves extreme hard work and dedication.
The wording of this headline prioritise Serena’s biology over her amazing tennis accomplishments, nay it reduces them to her biology. Childbirth is an entirely natural process, becoming a multi slam champion is not a natural process at all.
I would’ve been entirely happy with, “Multi Slam winner Serena Williams returns to the courts for the first time after becoming a mother.” Which is what Daniel suggested.
If you can’t see how different that emphasis is,and how respectful it is of Serena’s achievements, then time you removed the blinkers.

Okiegal Says:

@Willow…..The rich Nadal family needs to wait until after Easter to freeze her eggs…….🤣🤣🤣

@Humble 🕑🕜🕧🕓🕠🕡 marches on!! Take heed…..

Willow Says:

Margot sorry for offending you, it certainly wasnt my intention ….

Margot Says:

Of course you haven’t offended me Willow, honey x

Markus Says:

Feminists can’t seem to appreciate when they are being complimented for being good as it pertains to what is inherent and unique about their gender.

Willow Says:

Always hated the expression feminist or feminism, ive always believed both sexes should be treated equally male or female ….

Willow Says:

Margot ;-) ….

Margot Says:

Feminists just love being lectured by men.

Willow Says:

Margot lol ….

Humble Rafa Says:

Feminists just love being lectured by men.

It’s called mansplaining.

Markus Says:

Margot, a snide remark that does not support your stand is not a a valid form of argument.
Willow, you may not like the term feminist or feminism but you cannot deny that it exists. The feminist movement started out right and well meaning with women’s suffrage and then their right for equality. But some have taken it to the extreme that they even resent any form of platitude to a woman for what in actuality define them as women, e.g., motherhood as in this particular case.

Margot Says:

OMG agreeing with HR again! That’s ANOTHER big G n T for me! Hic!
Markus: Not a snide remark at all, merely the truth. You lectured me without any attempt to understand the point I was making about acknowledging Serena’s achievements on the tennis courts and there you go again lecturing Willow about feminism. You can’t even see you are doing it. You yourself said you were “old fashioned and traditional” and me oh my, it shows.

Margot Says:

PS Markus: This is a tennis site, remember? If it were a “mothering site” I would not object to the prioritising of the word “mom” but as it isn’t…..surely you can see the difference?

j-kath Says:

Keen to find out how Nole handles his return….hoping he does well……..

BBB Says:

Me too j-k. I might try to go to Indian Wells on Friday and I hope he’s still around. He’s someone I’d like to see in person.

I’m watching the Kvitova match. She’s not playing well but holy smokes she looks fit. I saw some photos of Vika – same.

skeezer Says:

IW is a great venue. Have you been there before?

BBB Says:

I have, but a long time ago. It was rainy!

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