No longer angry Serena Williams is glad to be back in New Zealand

WELLINGTON Serena Williams go back to Auckland WTA Classic Monday for the first time since his miserable debut two years ago, determined to make things clear.

I am in a very different mood, he said before his opening match the first day: a tent doubles the appearance of partnering Caroline Wozniacki - with his first-round singles against his longtime rival Svetlana Kuznetsova Waited for Tuesday.

Williams, 38, is confident that Auckland will prepare her for an unprecedented 24th title in the Australian Open later in the month.

Williams was well below average when he played in Auckland in 2017, complaining about windy conditions, being abrupt in interviews and could not wait to leave the country as soon as he lost in the second round to Madison Brengle.

But she says that the anger she felt at that moment is gone.

I'm not pregnant, for starters, so that works, so I can only do good now, the first star of the tournament and number 10 in the world joked with journalists while reflecting on how I was not aware when I was six years pregnant weeks with his daughter Alexis Olympia.

I just remember that it was windy and I was angry, hating my husband (Alexis Ohanian). I thought 'I can't stand you and I don't know why,' he said.

Obviously at that time I also didn't know why ... I was six weeks pregnant and had no idea. So, looking back is so surreal and crazy and now that I'm here, I have all these fun memories of being miserable

I always knew I would have to go back, sure. I didn't even realize what was happening, and now I'm here with my daughter.

This is where it all began. Is incredible. It is very exciting to be here with her and know that this is literally where it began.

Despite her quick exit in 2017, Williams went on to win the Australian Open for her 23rd major title, but has not won a tournament since.

Williams, who has a 10-3 record against Kuznetsova in a 16-year rivalry, said she was glad to be playing her very good friend in the first place.

I like to play against really tough opponents in the first round, and there is no better way to start than to start seriously. I really love her and adore her, and I wish it had been a little later, for both of us, she said.

I was also eager to play with former world number one Wozniacki in the doubles, calling Danish one of my best friends.

Meanwhile, the Auckland tournament has been affected by the late withdrawal of the seventh seed Jelena Ostapenko, who retired for personal reasons.

The 22-year-old Latvian, who won the French Open in 2017, is the second high-profile retreat with Canadian Bianca Andreescu retiring last month due to her continuing knee problems.

Andreescu defeated Williams to claim the US Open title in September last year.