Serena Williams

Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Serena Williams is back on the court after taking most of the year off following the birth of her first child, but her comeback was marred by a loss.

On Saturday, four months after she and husband Alexis Ohanian welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia, Serena played an exhibition match against defending French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. She dropped the first set 6-2, rebounded to win the second set 6-3 and then fell behind 5-0 while losing the match tiebreaker 10-5, according to ESPN.

"I'm excited. It's good to be back on the court," Williams said after the match, the outlet reported. "This was such a good time for me...First matches back are always super-incredibly hard, especially after having a baby. It was great. I was glad I could do it here."

This marked Serena's first competitive game since she won her record 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open in January—when she was nine weeks pregnant.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley told reporters earlier this month that Williams was "very likely" to return to play at the annual event, which begins on January 15, to defend her Grand Slam title.

Serena's husband joined her and cheered her on in Abu Dhabi.

"Mama is back in the office," he wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

Serena Williams

Tom Dulat/Getty Images

A day earlier, the 36-year-old tennis champion, the world's highest paid female athlete, posted on her Instagram page photos from her pregnancy, including a picture of her at the 2017 Australian Open.

"This year has been amazing for me. As it comes to its end I want to share 10 personal moments," she wrote. "1. The day I found out I was pregnant. I had to pretend I everything was normal but I was dying inside. After all I had a grand slam to play. 2. Melbourne 7 weeks pregnant 3. Wow I won the Australian Open. I was 9 weeks by than. No one knew outside of [my sister] Venus Williams and my fiancé Alexis."

She also included pics of her playing tennis when she was over seven weeks pregnant, a photo of herself when she was 24 weeks pregnant, a pic of her a day before she checked into the hospital to give birth, images from her bridal shower, and Vanity Fair's cover of her posing nude while pregnant.

Serena's rep had said in April that the tennis star would take maternity leave and take time off from tennis until 2018.

Serena's husband, co-founder of Reddit, had also taken paternity leave to bond with their child. 

Check out sweet photos of Serena and Alexis' baby girl:

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Snapchat

Instagram

The happy mama has some fun on Snapchat.

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Instagram

Instagram

Mommy and daughter are twinsies!

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Instagram

Instagram

"Dad & I hit the gym hard today," read the caption to this photo, posted on the child's Instagram page in December 2017.

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Aunt, Isha Price, Instagram

Instagram

Alexis appears with Serena's sister Isha Price.

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Instagram

Instagram

"Wait till I see you S," read the caption to this photo, posted on the child's Instagram page in December 2017.

Serena Williams, Wedding Ring, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia

Instagram

Serena showcases her new wedding ring in this adorable pic of her daughter.

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Alexis Ohanian

Instagram

Serena posted on her Instagram page this photo of Alexis and baby Alexis, writing, "We love bath time."

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Alexis Ohanian

Instagram

"When you realize you're the hero Gotham needs," read the caption on the photo, posted on the child's Instagram page.

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Alexis Ohanian

Instagram

"Making moves," read the caption on the photo, posted on the child's Instagram page.

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Alexis Ohanian, Snapchat

Snapchat / Serena Williams

Serena and her little girl love Snapchat!

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Alexis Ohanian

Instagram

Zzzzzz...

Serena Williams, Baby, Daughter, Alexis Olympia, Alexis Ohanian

Instagram

...Like Her Mama.

Watch Daily Pop weekdays on E! at 12 p.m.

Don't miss E! News every weekday at 7 and 11 p.m.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share