What a role model

No matter what your age, gender, sport or job, we all need motivation from time to time.

Top ranked athletes will tell you we all need to set goals, review progress and push ourselves and we will see results.

Someone who has managed all that is Serena Williams.

What an athlete. What a sports star.

The American will make her long awaited comeback to competitive singles tennis this week - following the birth of her daughter last summer.

When you are reading out sports news about an athlete dealing with an injury or coming back from an extended break in the world of today there isn't time to delve too deply into the back story and as well as having a sporting career Serena is also now a mother, something that has had its own medical challenges.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion will return to the WTA Tour at Indian Wells in California this week, and admits she frequently wondered how she would keep going after returning to the practice courts following the birth of her first child.

In an interview with BBC Sport, the 36-year-old American said she is motivated by the thought of playing long enough for her six-month-old daughter to have memories of watching her.

In an article for CNN last month, she wrote she feels "lucky to have survived" Alexis Olympia's birth, having suffered a pulmonary embolism after an emergency Caesarean section.

But now, having played an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi in late December and doubles for the US Fed Cup team against the Netherlands last month, she says the time is right for her to return.

Driving her now is something money cant buy.

''I would love for my daughter to be around with me doing great, and playing amazing, so that definitely gives me some motivation. I would have thought I would have retired six years ago, but I'm still here and I'm playing great, and I think I'll still be playing good."

But added it's "impossible" to say how long she would continue to play for.

Williams, who is unranked as she has spent more than 12 months away from the tour, has been drawn to play Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the first round in Indian Wells.

The bould Zarina will know she was in a game after that even though six weeks of Serenas time away from the sport was spent in bed as she recovered from emergency surgery. 

Grit. Determination. Values.

Highly unusual in the world of today.