I felt like superhero - Serena Williams

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Coming into the second Grand Slam of 2018, Williams had slipped to 451 in the world and by beating the 70th-ranked Pliskova showed her present ranking does not accurately reflect her status.

The 36-year-old professional tennis player has revealed she struggled with her mood after she gave birth to her daughter Olympia - whom she has with her husband Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian - last September following a hard labour and once cried her eyes out because she couldn't find the little one's bottle. "I was terrified, and it was a whole new kind of fear".

Get through that, and Williams would face either five-time major champion Maria Sharapova or 2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

But anyone foolish enough to think motherhood would kill off Williams' competitive edge got a reminder of why the 23-times Grand Slam champion is one of the all-time greats as she clawed her way to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 second round win over Ashleigh Barty.

Alongside her sister Venus, Serena will take to the doubles court on Friday against Kirsten Flipkins and Sara Errani. I was doing good, I just was making mistakes.

ICYDK, Williams dealt with unsafe blood clots and other complications after giving birth, forcing her to stay in bed for weeks.

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The top seed eventually claimed victory on a third match point when Bolelli dumped a forehand into the net.

The 23-time grand slam victor revealed the outfit was as much about functionality as style.

As many have been before her, Barty began to look overawed by the force of Williams' personality.

"The biggest difference is definitely I'm semi on time today", she continued. Serena has won 12 of her last 13 matches on clay court.

"It's not easy to come back with everything I have been through and there has been so many other women that have been through the same thing, and we just don't talk about it". By the end, this was an incredibly encouraging performance in what was only her sixth singles match since giving birth.

"I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, (a) queen from Wakanda", Williams told the press after the match, referencing the hit movie Black Panther. Or I'll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, Why do I feel so sad when I have a attractive baby?