Serena returns to WTA top 10 for first time as a mother

After dropping to 491st as she took time away from tennis to have a baby, Serena Williams is now back in the top 10 in the rankings.

Serena Williams has returned to the WTA's top 10.   -  Getty Images

Serena Williams has returned to the top 10 of the WTA rankings for the first time since taking a break from tennis to have a baby.

The 23-time major champion won the Australian Open in January 2017 while still in the early stages of her pregnancy before giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September of that year.

Williams returned at Indian Wells in March 2018, having dropped as low as 491 in the standings, but Monday's update saw the 37-year-old ascend back to number 10 in the world.

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The American has not featured this season since a quarterfinal defeat to Karolina Pliskova at the Australian Open but has moved up the rankings due to some of her rivals' failures to defend their points.

Naomi Osaka, who triumphed at Melbourne Park after defeating Williams at the US Open in the final major of 2018, remains at number one, while Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens each move up one place to second and third respectively as Petra Kvitova drops down to fourth on the list.

WTA top 20:

1. Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6,970 pts

2. Simona Halep (ROU) 5,537 (+1)

3. Sloane Stephens (USA) 5,307 (+1)

4. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 5,120 (-2)

5. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 5,055

6. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 5,020 (+1)

7. Angelique Kerber (GER) 4,960 (-1)

8. Kiki Bertens (NED) 4,885

9. Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 3,565

10. Serena Williams (USA) 3,406 (+1)

11. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 3,325 (+1)

12. Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 3,285 (+1)

13. Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 3,230 (+1)

14. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 3,118 (-4)

15. Julia Goerges (GER) 2,820 (+1)

16. Elise Mertens (BEL) 2,745 (+5)

17. Madison Keys (USA) 2,726

18. Wang Qiang (CHN) 2,605

19. Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 2,510 (-4)

20. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 2,460 (-1)