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Lewis inspired by tennis-playing mums at Flushing Meadows

FILE PHOTO: Aug 28, 2020; Rogers, AR, USA; Stacy Lewis tees off on hole eight during the first round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship golf tournament at Pinnacle Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Gunnar Rathbun-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Stacy Lewis begins her bid for a second victory at the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration on Thursday and the former world number one says she has taken inspiration from the performances of tennis-playing mothers at the U.S. Open Grand Slam in New York.

The women’s singles draw at Flushing Meadows featured nine mothers, with two -- Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka -- advancing to the semi-finals.

Lewis, who won the Scottish Open last month for her first title since becoming a mother in 2018, said she knows exactly how much of a challenge it is to return to elite sport.

“I was watching the tennis these last couple days and thinking they’re finishing at 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, you have to have somebody help get the baby to bed on time,” she said.

“You know the challenges they’re going through, as well, and I think it was Azarenka, she was so excited to win her match the other night, because you get it.

“You understand what it’s like, the work that you put back into it to get to that point again. So it definitely gives you motivation to see other women doing it.”

The 35-year-old American has fond memories of the Mission Hills Country Club having won the ANA Inspiration, one of five majors on the women’s circuit, in 2011.

“I’ve been really excited with the way my golf swing has felt... over this last month or so,” said Lewis, who has registered two top-10 finishes in her last four starts.

“Putting just needs to be a lot better this week. It’s kind of been hit-or-miss. If I can putt it good this week, I feel like I can have a chance come Sunday.”

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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