The last three years have been challenging for Williams as she juggled competing demands of tennis and motherhood. She defeated Jessica Pegula in the ASB Classic final this past Sunday.
Soon after that, she welcomed Alexis Olympia, who was on-hand to see her mother's latest victory.
"It feels good. It's been a long time".More news: YouTuber NikkieTutorials Comes Out As Trans In Emotional Video
She did not play a warm-up tournament ahead of last year's Australian Open and fell in the quarter-finals, and her appearance in Auckland was created to get more matches under her belt before she headed to Melbourne.
"I've been playing in Australia for over 20 years and it's been tough for me to watch the news and everything that has been happening with the fires", Serena said. "I think you could see the relief on my face".
On Wednesday, organizers announced that Serena Williams along with many tennis stars including the Swiss Roger Federer and Spanish Rafael Nadal have agreed to play in an exhibition match scheduled ahead of the Australian Open later this month, to raise funds for Australia's bushfire relief.More news: Little Women is a Radical Act, With or Without the Oscars
Williams laid down an ominous marker when she brushed aside the promising Amanda Anisimova in just 44 minutes in the semi-final and Pegula had no answer in the showpiece as the 38-year-old claimed her 73rd WTA title. "You have to be your biggest cheerleader, especially if you're feeling you're not doing everything right - or even if you are doing everything right, but things aren't working out for you", she said.
But Williams visibly called on herself to lift near the middle of the set, breaking to level at 3-3. Pegula had those five break chances in the first couple of return games, breaking Serena in the first game after a backhand error from the top seed and creating more opportunities two games later.
Pegula took the lead 2-0 before Williams rebounded and scored 3-3 in the first set.More news: Retail Inflation Surges to 7.35% in December, Breaches RBI's Tolerance Level
Williams looked in imperious form at SW19 and few would have bet against her going into the final, but she was blown away by Halep, who cruised to an emphatic victory in just 56 minutes to win her second grand slam.