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Serena Williams' adorable baby daughter steals the show as she watches mum's return to action

Mirror logo Mirror 13/2/2018 Frank Pingue

Serena Williams returned to competitive action for the first time since maternity leave this weekend - with the support of one very special fan.

The tennis ace's five-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, was in the sellout crowd at the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday.

Serena, 36, lost her first official match as she and sister Venus were beaten in a doubles dead rubber by the Netherlands.

The mum-of-one, who gave birth 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.

Serena Williams reveals emergency C-section after baby's heart-rate plummeted during contractions - and that wasn't the end of her dangerous birth

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty

Getty

a group of people posing for the camera: Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty

Getty

"It's great. It's her first match so I'm glad she got to see it," Serena said on-court at the US Cellular Arena.

Credits: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

Early in the match Serena showed the effects of her lengthy layoff, perhaps most noticeably when she shanked a routine volley that left her bent over in embarrassment.

a man hitting a tennis ball: Credits: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

But shortly after, the owner on 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.

Despite the loss, it was a positive step for Serena, who was bedridden for six weeks from a series of complications, including a pulmonary embolism that led to multiple surgeries, after her daughter was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Credits: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

Serena did play an exhibition match last December in Dubai, where she lost to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, and shortly after decided against playing the Australian Open because of fitness concerns.

The doubles dead rubber had no impact on the best-of-five tie as it was played after Venus gave the United States an insurmountable 3-0 lead that put the reigning champions into the April 21-22 semi-finals against France.

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