Serena Williams returns to winning ways, but not quite back with a bang

Serena Williams made a winning return to the WTA tour but needed three sets to get past Bernarda Pera at the Lexington Open.

The number one seed, who was last in competitive action at a Fed Cup qualifier in February, lost the first set in Kentucky.

Pera had two opportunities to earn a decisive break against the 23-time grand slam winner in the next set, but on both occasions Williams fought back and eventually levelled before she hit top gear to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

“I wasn’t in a good rhythm and I just kept thinking Serena, play like you’ve been practising,” Williams told

“I knew I could play a little bit better if I just hung in there.”

Williams will face sister Venus Williams and is using this tournament as preparation for the US Open, which begins on August 31.

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