However, it remains to be seen whether Williams can regain her form after becoming a mother to Olympia.
Williams returned to Grand Slam tennis this month for the first time since her victory previous year at the Australian Open, a tournament she won while eight weeks pregnant. She played a poor service game in the middle of the set, and Barty won a break which she would not relinquish, winning the first set 6-3.
Williams is now training for Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, but has set her sights firmly on surpassing Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, won between 1960 and 1973.
As a result of that embolism, her coughing also popped open her c-section wound - at which point they also found a large hematoma (also clotted blood) in her abdomen. I want to let her do whatever she wants to do, as long as it's positive. Thursday marked the first Top 20 win of her comeback. "No matter what, that's my priority", Williams said after her 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win over Pliskova.
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"Every day is a great day for me, " said Williams, who is also entered in doubles, with her older sister, Venus.
It is clear Williams has learned to handle the criticisms and has even embraced her strong and muscular body.
"I'm really fortunate enough that I can plan my days and I can plan my career", said Williams, who appeared to symbolise her life as a "Super-mom" in the skin-tight, black catsuit she chose to wear for Tuesday's match.
Williams hit just three winners in the opener while 22-year-old Barty could afford to bide her time, just two winners and four unforced errors. Then came the second-round match against Ashleigh Barty.
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"If I wasn't playing tennis, I'd be pregnant right now", she said.
In a Reddit post confirming her engagement in 2017, Williams traced their lunch back to Rome, where Ohanian ultimately proposed. But Williams' movement around the court is not as slick as she would like - although she has played only five singles matches since her daughter's birth.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion covers the July issue of Harper's Bazaar UK. "I can show Olympia I struggled, but now I'm happy with who I am and what I look like". 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 lovely baby? She'll try to score another one when she takes on No. 11-seeded Julia Goerges in the third round.
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