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Serena Williams wins Australian Open return; Venus gets by

MELBOURNE, Australia — This was quite a return for Serena Williams. Almost as if she never left.

In her first match at the Australian Open since winning the 2017 title while pregnant — and her first official match anywhere since a loss in the chaotic U.S. Open final last September — Williams looked to be at her dominant best, overpowering Tatjana Maria 6-0, 6-2 in the first round Tuesday.

“I kind of like to jump in the deep end and swim,” Williams said in an on-court interview after the 49-minute workout, “and see what happens.”

She hadn’t dipped her toe in Grand Slam waters since New York, where everything devolved after Williams was warned for getting coaching, then docked a point for breaking a racket and eventually docked a game for calling the chair umpire “a thief” during the final.

When that match was mentioned by a reporter during Williams’ news conference Tuesday, as part of a question about whether coaching should be allowed during matches at majors, she replied, “I, like, literally have no comment.”

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