ASHEVILLE – All eyes were on Serena Williams as she walked onto the court Friday at the U.S. Cellular Center.

The anticipation of her return to tennis after the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, was not lost on the local crowd. They gave the 23-time Grand Slam winner a standing ovation before matchups were picked for this weekend’s Fed Cup featuring the defending champion United States team and the Netherlands.

RELATED | Serena, Venus Williams Holding Court In Asheville For Fed Cup 2018

Fans will have to wait until Sunday to see Williams, 36, in action.

The former No. 1 seed and teammate Laura Davis will face the Netherlands’ Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs in the second and final match on Sunday.

“This is definitely the start of a long process,” Williams said on her return to tennis. “I’m ready and excited to be chosen to the team. I’m very happy to be here. Physically I feel good. Every day I get better and stronger.”

Williams’ older sister, Venus, enters the weekend as the U.S. Team’s No. 1 seed and the No. 8 ranked player in the world. She’ll face Netherlands’ No. 2 seed Arantxa Rus in the opening singles match on Saturday at 1 p.m. and will team up with Coco Vandeweghe — ranked No. 17 in the world — in doubles play Sunday against Richel Hogenkamp and Rus.

See Photos from The Fed Cup

“It’s always an honor to be here,” said Venus, who along with Serena, makes her first Fed Cup appearance since 2015. “There is a sense of pride you have when you play for more than yourself. It’s completely different feeling. We try to prepare the best we can every time to handle that honor and pressure.”

Fans clamored for pictures during the match selection process, but it was 14-year-old Kennedi Green who got the chance to meet the Williams sisters up close and personal.

Green, a home-schooled student from Asheville, was chosen to select names out of the Fed Cup trophy that decided the draw. She will also be a ball girl during the matches this weekend and carry the Netherlands flag onto the court before the match.

A tennis player herself, Green had always dreamed of meeting Serena. On Friday, that dream came true.

With Alicia Keys’ “This Girl Is On Fire” playing loudly in the background, Green turned to Serena and burst into tears as she hugged her idol. Serena signed a pair of her tennis shoes and the two talked while they posed for pictures.

“That was the coolest moment of my life,” Green said. “My knees were shaking the whole time. It was just incredible. She’s amazing.”

During Friday’s press conference, Serena mentioned her interaction with Green.

“I’m really excited for her (that she gets to be a ball kid),” Serena said. “I’ve personally never been to Asheville, but one of the great parts of the Fed Cup is that you get to go to all these great cities and meet people like her.”

The rest of Friday’s press conference focused not only on Serena’s comeback but on her new journey into motherhood. Venus said her sister hasn’t really changed, but “may go out a little less.”

“It’s been an amazing journey, one that I’ve never embarked on,” Serena said. “It’s probably been the most fun of my life. It’s a totally new experience and I love motherhood. I look forward to being the best mom I can be.”

RELATED | Serena Williams Talks Health Scare After Baby's Birth

Follow WFMY News 2 on Facebook and Twitter

► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now