Serena Williams is set to appear on court for the first time since giving birth after confirming she will play at the Mubadala exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, next Saturday.
The 23-grand slam winner has not played in tournaments since winning the Australian Open 11 months ago – a feat even more remarkable given she was already two months pregnant at the time.
Williams, 36, appears to be preparing for a return to Melbourne Park in January after agreeing to take on French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
The pair will make history by becoming the first women to compete at the tournament which was previously for men only.
“I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter,” Williams, referring to her daughter Alexis, said in a statement on the tournament’s official website.
A win for Williams at next month’s Australian Open would take her to 24 grand slam victories and place her alongside all-time leader Margaret Court.
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Williams, who got married last month, is currently ranked 22nd in the world and would not require a wild card for the Australian Open which begins on January 15.