March 7 (UPI) — Serena Williams showed off her best electric slide this week during the Desert Smash at La Quinta Resort at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion joined Lisa Leslie, Victoria Azarenka and a cast of celebrities on Tuesday for an on-court dance off. She hosted the charity celebrity tennis event at the Indian Wells, Calif., club. Williams flew to the West Coast overnight after participating in an exhibition match on Monday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Her infant daughter Alexis Olympia and husband Alexis Ohanian were not in attendance.
The event precedes Williams’ return to tournament play at 7 p.m. Thursday in the BNP Paribas Open. She’ll face Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.
“It’s definitely better than I could have ever imagined,” Williams told the Tennis Channel, about motherhood. “I never thought much about it, but it’s better than any thoughts I could have ever had, so I love it.”
Azarenka — who gave birth to a baby boy in Dec. 2016 — said she can’t wait for her son to meet Alexis Olympia.
“My goal is definitely to play against Serena in some more finals because this is the biggest challenge and the most fun to play against her,” Azarenka told the Tennis Channel. “Everybody says she’s the greatest and I believe that.”
Williams also commented on her comeback.
“Just being out here is great, but I don’t think either one of us would be out here if we didn’t have the goal of being the best again,” she said.
Williams, 36, had another update regarding her comeback when she took to social media on Wednesday.
“It’s official,” she wrote on Instagram. “My comeback is here. This Thursday I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida- both my home states. Thursday, the day I play my very first match, marks international women’s day.”
“My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back [if you want of course]!! So I created my Serena Gold toned “S” pin.”
“When I am playing you can wear it and show support not only from me but also for my charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource center. I want this gold “S” mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my “S” pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness.”
“What would your ‘S’ mean?”
“They are for now only available for my fans that come see my at Indian wells, and Miami starting Wednesday as well as Thursday when I play!! Sooooo if you are watching me stop by the Serena booth to grab a ‘S’ pin.”
“Post pics of you wearing your ‘S’ and tag me! Thanks for the support I look forward to seeing you out there!!”
Azarenka, 28, is ranked No. 204 in the WTA Rankings and hasn’t played a tour event since last year’s Wimbledon. Williams is unranked.