LONDON (CNN) – She is back at Wimbledon for the first time as a mom, but Serena Williams was in no mood for nurturing as she blasted her way into the second round. The 36-year-old superstar took some time to get up to speed, but overcame Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 7-5 6-3 in her quest for an eighth Wimbledon title.

Williams, who gave birth to her daughter in September, won the last of her crowns at SW19 in 2016, which was also the last time that she competed in south London.

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The 25th seed had to battle back from a break down in the second set, but went on to win five straight games to set up a second-round encounter against either Tereza Smitkova or Viktoriya Tomova. “I am happy to get through that,” Williams later said.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams reacts against Arantxa Rus during their first-round match on Day 1 of Wimbledon on July 2, 2018 in London, England. (credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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“It’s a great feeling to be back,” Williams added. “It’s been a couple of years since I played on grass, so it is difficult trying to find the rhythm.” The 23-time grand slam champion is chasing the all-time women’s record of nine Wimbledon singles titles, held by Martina Navratilova.

Williams is competing in her second grand slam since giving birth, having reached the fourth round of the French Open before withdrawing with a pectoral injury ahead of a match against old rival Maria Sharapova.

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