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Serena Williams is back on the court with plans to compete at Indian Wells




Serena Williams of the US celebrates with the championship trophy after her victory against her sister Venus in the women's singles final on day 13 of the Australian Open on January 28, 2017.
Serena Williams of the US celebrates with the championship trophy after her victory against her sister Venus in the women's singles final on day 13 of the Australian Open on January 28, 2017.
WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

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Four billboards outside Palm Springs, California, are proclaiming tennis star Serena Williams to be "The Greatest Momma of All Time."

The signs are courtesy of Williams' husband to welcome her back to the competitive tennis world following the birth of their daughter. Williams is scheduled to compete in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next week.

Take Two spoke to Ava Wallace, sports reporter of the Washington Post, about the tennis champ's return. Wallace said Williams is the clear leader of the pack in women's tennis, and now that she's back, other players will be working to up their game.  

Williams' popularity as an athlete and a cultural icon could also mean there will now be more eyes watching the tennis scene, Wallace said.

She's a crossover athlete. People care about her. People who are pop culture fans, people who are sports fans, people who are just on the internet and follow the news are fans of Serena Williams.

Williams isn't the first woman to come back to sports after having a child. Wallace said moms returning to competition is becoming more common, but there aren't many examples in tennis.

Kim Clijster returned to the court after her daughter was born and won several Grand Slams. However, Clijster took off more time than Williams, so what Williams is trying to do is unheard of, Wallace said.

She says she wants to win two more Grand Slams to get the Grand Slam record, and she gave birth six months ago. That's certainly unprecedented, event though there are definitely more moms competing nowadays.

Since giving birth to her daughter, the road back to tennis hasn't been easy for Williams. She has spoken about the health complications she had after giving birth and couldn't really get our of bed for six weeks, Wallace said. Now that she's back on the practice court, Williams has be honest about how getting back into her routine has been difficult.

Wallace said Williams wasn't at her best when she played at the Fed Cup earlier this month.

Her power, her arm speed was definitely still there, but the movement was a little slow, her accuracy was a little off, all things that tend to fall away when you haven't been practicing and really keeping up with your routine.

Indian Wells will be a very different, more intense environment for Williams compared to the Fed Cup, Wallace said, which makes it hard to know what to expect. Even if Williams isn't at her best at Indian Wells, Wallace said to remember that this is just the start of a long process as the tennis star gets back into the game.