WATCH: The TC Live Desk supported alum Townsend through the start of her 2022 comeback from maternity leave.


Even super moms need a vacation.

Taylor Townsend discovered just how badly she needed to unwind in the middle of an overdue vacation to the Middle East during the off-season, joking about just how hard it was to power down after winning her first Grand Slam singles match since giving birth to son A.J. in 2021.

“It was really weird because I had ten days, but for the first five I was stressed out,” she explained after knocking out Diane Parry, 6-1, 6-1. “Like, at 4:00 in the morning I was in the gym, like, ‘I have to do something,’ and I realized, ‘No, you don't.’ For the first five days I was stressed and, like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to do something. I have to train. I have something to do.’

“But then when I realized I don't and it's okay not to do anything, and that's basically the whole point of vacation, like, then the last five I had, like, things planned and activities. You know, it was so relaxing, but it was also super rejuvenating mentally. I didn't realize because I've never taken a vacation before.

“Any time that I have gone on a destination thing, it's always been for, like, tennis. So having personal time where you can just, like, mentally detach and, like, I didn't have A.J. with me, so really just, like reflect. It really made me realize how important that time is to be still so that you can really reflect and, like, figure out what you want.”

Townsend was clear on her goals when she left the tour to become a mom. After a brief stint covering matches from the Tennis Channel Live desk, the 26-year-old returned to action in 2022 and enjoyed almost immediate success, reaching the Roland Garros semifinals in women’s doubles and finishing runner-up at the US Open three months later with Madison Keys and Caty McNally, respectively. Her 2023 season began with back-to-back doubles titles in Adelaide with partners Asia Muhammad and Luisa Stefani.

Looking to follow in the footsteps of winning tour moms like Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, Townsend admitted to seeking advice from both, with the latter providing especially memorable wisdom.

“She's so chill and so relaxed. She was, like, ‘Just take your time. You know, enjoy it.’ That was my plan anyway, but…she's really the OG person that started, like, having a baby and then coming back.

“Her advice was very important to me because, like, she did it and she lived it, and then came back better, won a slam and then bounced out,” she added with a laugh. “I think it's the best way to, like, do things.

“Her advice was just, like, ‘Really enjoy being a mom, don't rush, and take your time because you don't want to come back, like, feeling pressure or anything like that.’ That was kind of like my mentality when I was coming back. I want to enjoy being a mother. I want to understand my son. I don't want to feel the pressure of, like, I have to play.”

With her son and family watching from home, Townsend will continue to channel that advice, both in singles for her second-round encounter with No. 19 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, and in doubles, where she and Muhammad are the No. 12 seeds.