Wed, 30 Sep 2020

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Former World No. 1 Serena Williams survived a stern test in Lexington on Tuesday, coming from behind to beat Bernarda Pera 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the inaugural Top Seed Open.

"It was a really calm atmosphere, really chill," Serena said after the match. "I can't say I disliked it. It was different; I've been through so many things in my career. I think I won today because I was calm for once, so that was really helpful."

Williams was playing her first match since helping lead the United States to a Fed Cup victory over Latvia, and her first tournament since the Australian Open in January, with the WTA tour having been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early March.

"I haven't played, like a lot of players have managed to play little things against other players. I've only been training, so I was missing shots, but getting back into the swing of things at the same time."

Five points from defeat in the second set, the 23-time Grand Slam champion showed off her inimitable fighting spirit to dispatch Pera after two hours and 16 minutes on Center Court.

"I just knew I needed to do better. I knew I could, and she hit so many winners, low to the court. I had to get used to her game a little bit because she played really well."

"I was pleased with how competitive I was out there, staying in the moment and not getting down on myself. I don't know how much I need to work on because I'm playing unbelievably in practice! I know I'm going to get better with each match, and I'm ok with that because today was nothing compared to how I'm practicing. I just need more rhythm, more time to be out there playing the match," added Williams.

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