Serena Williams officially returns to tennis after welcoming daughter

The pro athlete is back!

On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Serena Williams took to Instagram to announce her triumphant return to the tennis court in her first professional match since welcoming her daughter, Alexis Olympia, in the fall of 2017. According to Entertainment Tonight, she defeated Kazakhstan player Zarina Diyas in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. on Thursday evening.

"It's official. My comeback is here," Williams wrote, captioning a snapshot and clip of herself as she prepared for the match. "This Thursday I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida — both my home states."

As the tennis pro continued, she explained that she specifically chose that day for her return because it also marked International Women's Day. "My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back."

"So I created my Serena Gold toned 'S' pin," Williams added, revealing that it supports the Yetunde Price Resource Center. While encouraging fans to wear the pin when she plays to show their support, she stated, "I want this gold 'S' mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my 'S' pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness."

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Williams, 36, and her Reddit co-founder husband, Alexis Ohanian, 34, welcomed their first child together in September 2017. The proud mom, who has been gearing up for her official tennis comeback since December, recently opened up to Entertainment Tonight about balancing work with motherhood.

"Working motherhood is real. It's so real," she said. "I have my priorities and Olympia is that … I'm never a day without Olympia. She's my priority and everyday I need to be home with her. I don't wanna miss any moments with her."

Williams, who previously revealed her postpartum health complications, added, "I definitely want two [kids], God willing. But right now, I want tennis as well. So, I'm going to wait and see what happens. It's definitely not easy. I have this undying drive to be the best that I can be. Whether it's [being] a mom or playing tennis or doing my designing. I just want to do the best that I can."