Serena Williams Returns to Australian Open With Clinical Win

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Serena Williams jumped straight back in where she left off at the Australian Open, returning for the first time since winning the title in 2017 when she was pregnant with her first child.

Williams conceded only five points in the first set and was completely clinical in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria, another mom who lives close to Williams in Florida and visits for play dates with their daughters.

It was overwhelming for Maria, who got just two of her first serves into play in the first set and didn’t have game points until she held in the fourth game of the second set. She was in tears as the pair hugged at the net following the match, and Williams joined the crowd in giving the German player a clap as she left the arena.

“Yeah, I think the last time I was here, I was pregnant and playing at the same time — which is insane,” Williams said. “It’s kind of weird walking back on, by myself this time.”

Williams considers the 2017 victory here among the best of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, giving everything that was going on. Since returning to the tour following the birth of Alexis Olympia, Williams hasn’t added to her list of majors, having lost the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“Literally the best win of my career,” she recalled Tuesday in a post-match TV interview. “Just exciting to be back.”

At Melbourne Park, she’s now on an eight-match winning streak. She’s only lost one of her last 22 matches at the season-opening major, which she has won seven times.

The 37-year-old Williams said she loves to test herself early in the year after practicing “hard for that first hit.”

“I like to jump into the deep end and swim,” she said.

The 16th-seeded Williams will face either Eugenie Bouchard or wild-card entry Peng Shuai in the second round.

Madison Keys opened her season with a 6-2, 6-2 win over 18-year-old wild-card entry Destanee Aiava in the first match on Rod Laver Arena on Day 2.

“I expected it to be tough — obviously playing an Aussie on Rod Laver,” Keys told the crowd. “Thanks for the love, anyway.”

She broke Aiava’s serve four times and fended off the only break-point chance she faced. Aaiva, who was the first player born in this century to play in the main draw of a major when she got a wild card here in 2017, didn’t help herself with six double-faults.

The No. 17-seeded Keys has reached the semifinals or better at three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments, and her focus is on the bigger prizes for now.

“I was having issues with my knee at the end of the year (and) ran out of time to be ready for Brisbane — wanted to be 100 percent for here,” she said of her recent lack of competitive matches. “It’s my first match of the year, so mostly just happy I did everything pretty well.”

Seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova won the Brisbane International title in the first week of the season and continued her streak by beating fellow Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the second round. No. 12 Elise Mertens and No. 21 Qiang Wang also advanced.

Kei Nishikori is feeling a little bit liberated after having to come back from two sets down to beat Kamil Majchrzak in a difficult opener.

The eighth-seeded Nishikori won 10 consecutive games after losing the second set in a tiebreaker and took 15 of the last 17 games before Majchrzak retired with an injury with the score at 3-6, 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-2, 3-0 at Margaret Court Arena.

“He was playing amazing tennis,” Nishikori said. “I have to be happy going to the next round — I almost lost in the first round, so I have to be positive and get better.”

Among the other men advancing were Ryan Harrison, who beat Jiri Vesely 6-0, 7-5, 6-3, No. 12 Fabio Fognini and No. 15 Daniil Medvedev.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-1.

The temperature was already 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) when play began on all courts shortly after 11 a.m. local time and it rose to 33 C (91 F) by the early afternoon.

Sports – TIME

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5 Questions With a Clinical Psychologist Who Studies Social Factors That Affect Health

What motivates you?

What bothers us is often what motivates us. And it bothers me that scientific knowledge often does not inform the care people receive. A new area called “implementation science” is devoted to ensuring that evidence-informed interventions are implemented to benefit those in need.

Read Dr. Lewis’ latest paper published on JAMA Psych.

Specifically, I’m focused on improving mental and behavioral health care by integrating evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy into community settings. My new paper in JAMA Psychiatry discusses how to advance the integration of measurement-based care into behavioral health treatment.

What first got you interested in implementation science?

While working on a study in graduate school, I found CBT worked for many young people. But at that time, cognitive behavioral therapy was largely unavailable outside of research trials. Implementation science promised to bring evidence-based care into practice. So, I decided to focus on this new field, even though no one at my university, including my mentor, was expert in this type of work.

Kayne Mettert, Caitlin Dorsey, Lewis, and Elena Navarro (L-R) all moved together to work at the Kaiser Permanente Health Research Institute in Seattle from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Kayne Mettert, Caitlin Dorsey, Lewis, and Elena Navarro (L-R) all moved together to work at the Kaiser Permanente Health Research Institute in Seattle from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Which projects have excited you most?

My work with Wolverine Human Services — residential treatment centers housing teens throughout Michigan — made the impossible, possible. It was the first time, to my knowledge, that frontline staff received training to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy with fidelity. Through our five years of systematic, tailored implementation with the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Wolverine was transformed. They’ve trained most of the staff in cognitive behavioral therapy and embedded onsite coaches to ensure the program is sustainable.

Now, I’m leading an implementation evaluation of a new member of the primary care team in Kaiser Permanente Washington clinics designed to connect patients with community resources. Specifically, we’re evaluating the impact of community resource specialists on patients’ experience and care teams’ ability to work at the top of their license.

I serve on the steering committee of Kaiser Permanente’s Social Needs Network for Evaluation and Translation group. We bring experts together and support them to think about how best to address social risk, build capacity and conduct pragmatic evaluations. Kaiser Permanente is at the cutting edge in terms of investing in care for the whole person and their community. Very few organizations have that vision — and the infrastructure to support this work.

What makes Kaiser Permanente a good place to do implementation science?

Kaiser Permanente is willing to invest in implementing evidence-based care. Being embedded in a delivery system affords the opportunity to contribute to the science and the practice of implementation.

Lewis, PhD, an associate investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, after keynoting the Global Evidence and Implementation Summit 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

Lewis after keynoting the Global Evidence and Implementation Summit 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

What keeps you going outside of work?

What I do most outside of work is to spend time with my 2-year-old son River. I’m an avid cyclist. I love to bike to work and bike River to school, the grocery store, you name it.

Our family is very musical, and we play music every day. I like to sing — but don’t ask me to. River and my husband Eric play all the things: We have five guitars (including River’s guitalele), a piano, drums and many other instruments. We don’t watch TV shows as a family — we watch live music videos together.

I’m proud to say River now requests Pearl Jam, a Seattle-born band that recently raised $ 12 million to address homelessness in our local communities. I have family nearby in British Columbia, where I was born and raised — and those are two reasons why Seattle is a great place for us to be.

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