Serena Williams to return to tennis

Serena Williams will return to tennis in Abu Dhabi, almost four months after giving birth.

The 36-year-old American will play world number seven Jelena Ostapenko. It will be an exhibition match on 30 December during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Williams, who has won an Open-era record 23 Grand Slams, said she was “delighted to be returning to the court”.

She gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian in September.

Former world number one Williams has not played since winning the Australian Open in January.

Coach Patrick Mouratoglou said that no decision had been made over whether Williams would play in January’s Australian Open.

Australian Open director Craig Tilley has said Williams is “very likely” to defend her title at the 2018 tournament. The Australian Open starts on 15 January 2018.

Ranked 22nd in the world, Williams would not need a wildcard.

Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka have pulled out of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. The tournament runs from 28-30 December.

Latvian Ostapenko’s match against Williams will be the first between women to be played at a tournament first staged in 2009.

Ostapenko said: “It is a huge honour to be part of that history”.

TNT News

Photo Credit: Australian Open

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