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Serena Williams wins first title since having her daughter, donates prize money to Australia wildfire relief efforts


ABC/Craig Sjodin

Serena Williams hit a major milestone Sunday in her journey since becoming a mom.

The 38-year-old tennis pro won her first title since giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., two years ago.

“It feels good. It’s been a long time. I think you can see the relief on my face,” Williams said after defeating fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

Williams’ daughter was in the crowd to watch her mom win, taking it all in while sitting on the lap of her dad, Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian.

“She’s so fun,” Williams said about Alexis. “I’m a little biased but she’s so cute.”

With her win Sunday, her 73rd WTA title, Williams became the first woman to win singles titles in four different decades, according to tennis legend Billie Jean King, who congratulated Williams on Twitter.

Williams’ last tournament win was the 2017 Australian Open, when she was in the early weeks of her pregnancy.

In accepting her singles trophy Sunday, Williams confirmed she will donate a dress from each of her matches and all of her prize money to fire relief efforts in Australia, where wildfires have ravaged millions of acres.

Williams is joining tennis stars including Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in playing an exhibition match Wednesday in Melbourne to benefit fire relief efforts.

“I’ve been playing in Australia for over 20 years,” Williams said. “And it’s been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that has been happening in Australia with all the fires and over a billion animals [dead] and people that lost their homes.”

Williams will next travel to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open, which kicks off January 20.

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