However, after falling 5-0 behind in the deciding championship tie-break, Williams was left with too much ground to make up as Ostapenko won the first ever women's match at MWTC.
"I am a little excited because I have never played her before", said Ostapenko, who has been practising since Thursday in Abu Dhabi.
The legendary 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, still hungry for success, will be back in action for the first time since the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr on 1st September 2017.
Although the American has not officially confirmed that she will play at the Australian Open, Williams remains registered for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, where she won while she was pregnant the last time round. The American great was back on court on Saturday night for her first match after an nearly one-year break - but it was not the result she was hoping for.
Williams was very competitive despite losing to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko
"Motherhood is phenomenal. I was a little anxious - I looked at my camp and asked, 'Is (my daughter) Olympia OK?' But it's really good to be back on the court". But despite also surrendering his world number one ranking during a frustrating year, Murray insists he won't be motivated exclusively by thoughts of Grand Slam glory once he gets back on court. "This was such a good time for me". That tournament is set for January 15 through January 28 at Melbourne Park.
"It's my first time playing in Abu Dhabi, so thank you for the support". The Serb has not played competitively since and underwent surgery.
Murray, who has struggled with a persistent hip injury since the Briton's quarterfinal exit at Wimbledon in July, pulled out of the US Open and dropped to 16th in the world rankings.
"It's too tough. I think everybody can look forward to a great and tense start of the season".
"To do well here would be an incredible feeling but I'm not going to weigh my whole year and rest of career on the next three, four weeks", she said.