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Serena Williams on return: It was a positive step

Serena Williams was understandably far from her best in her return to competition on Sunday but the greatest player of her generation said it was a positive step toward her goal of returning to the pinnacle of her sport.

Williams, playing her first official match since having a baby, and older sister Venus were beaten in a dead doubles rubber by the Netherlands in the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina, but walked away feeling upbeat.

Early in the match Williams showed the effects of her lengthy layoff, perhaps most noticeably when she shanked a routine volley that left her bent over in embarrassment; however, shortly after, the owner of an Open-era record 23 grand slam singles titles drew wild cheers when she confidently stepped to the net and stretched out to drive home a superb backhand volley.

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