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Serena makes return in a losing encounter

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The 36-year-old originally wanted to play at last month's Australian Open

The Williams sisters lost their match to the Netherlands, but their appearance on the court was still a big deal - People reports that it was the first time in two years either Venus or Serena has been on the Fed Cup team.

It was Serena's first competitive match since winning her 23rd major at the 2017 Australian Open, and the first time the sisters had played doubles together in this tournament since 2003.

Serena, who gave birth to her first child last September and had not played a competitive match since her triumph at the 2017 Australian Open, showed glimpses of her prowess and rust during the 6-2 6-3 loss to doubles specialist Demi Schuurs and world number 165 Lesley Kerkhove. "That gave me an opportunity to be able to close it out for the U.S.", she said."There was a lot of pressure for me to close it out, for her to be able to stay in, and I was able to handle it a little better", she added.

"I honestly feel better than I thought I was going to feel, I feel like I didn't expect to play". "I feel like I'm on the right track for me".

The US already had clinched victory thanks to a pair of singles victories by Venus Williams and have an April 21-22 semifinal in France. I'm going to try to do better. Both were in attendance over the weekend, seated just behind the players' box. No one talks about the low moments - the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry.

But team captain Kathy Rinaldi confirmed her participation after Venus won her singles match against Richel Hogenkamp to seal overall victory for the US. I've broken down I don't know how many times. Husband Alexis Ohanian and their daughter Alexis Olympia cheered on Serena at the 2018 Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina over the weekend.

'It's great. It's her first match so I'm glad she got to see it, ' Serena gushed at the Cellular Arena.

The dead-rubber was supposed to be the feel-good, icing on the cake, but the Dutch players had other ideas.

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