Serena Williams feels proud of her return to the competition after motherhood. In a press conference at the Miami Open, the former world no. 1 said: "I feel like with my career I've had a tremendous amount of success.
I think coming back from my situation, playing four, five tournaments, jumping into the top 10, is extremely successful. It's just a step at a time. I have to force myself to take a step back and say, You're doing great, don't be so hard on yourself.
Just because my level of success is so much higher than what's natural, I have to take these moments and say, You're doing great, encourage myself in a positive way so I can get that success that I want to have since coming back from the baby."
On what beating Victoria Azarenka in Indian Wells meant to her, Serena said: "I definitely see it as a major steppingstone knowing that I can play extremely tough matches and play at that level from literally the first point to the last.
I feel like it was just an incredibly high level. I know I can get better. I think that match against Vika was just incredibly high talent, just highly fought, and we both wanted to win it really bad." Caroline Wozniacki opened her run on a high note as well defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
In her press conference, the Dane said: "I feel like it's definitely not been the greatest start to the year health-wise for me. I'm just really thankful I can be out there and play and compete. All I can do right now is just try and get the matches under my belt, try to play better.
Finally the last week or so, I really feel like I'm starting to hit the ball well in practice. Hopefully, that's going to transfer into a match and it's just going to get better. It's hard when you're in bed most of the time through Doha, Dubai.
I expect a lot out of myself. Going to play Indian Wells and basically not having practiced for a month, I still wanted to play well. I thought I played pretty decent compared to how much I'd been able to practice. I was proud of my fight.
I just have to keep putting myself out there and I have to keep just doing my best. That's really all I can ask of myself right now. Hopefully, tomorrow is going to be better. That's all I can do."