Serena Williams says her comeback ‘could not have come on a better day’ | Kevin Mitchell

The American survived a pulmonary embolism giving birth last year and returns to the Tour on International Women’s Day after an absence of more than a year

Serena Williams returns to the full glare of the tennis tour on Thursday – appropriately, on International Women’s Day – more than a year since beating her sister, Venus, in the final of the 2017 Australian Open and six months after surviving a pulmonary embolism giving birth to her first child, Alexis Olympia. It is the sort of grand entrance befitting one of sport’s most remarkable figures.

“I never questioned my return,” the 36-year-old owner of an Open-era record 23 major singles titles said on Wednesday before her comeback match, against Kazakh Zarina Diyas, 24, in a night match in the Paribas Open in Indian Wells – but that is not the whole story.

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