Serena Williams will make her return to tennis just under fourth months after giving birth when she takes to the court in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi.
The 36-year-old last played a competitive match at the Australian Open in January when she was pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., whose father is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Williams has been targeting a return for that same tournament, which is just a few weeks away, and now it has been confirmed that she will take part in a warm-up tournament.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner will take on a fellow Major winner in the form of Jelena Ostapenko on December 30, who stunned Simona Halep to win the French Open last June.
Speaking about her return, Williams said: ‘I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September.
‘The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event.
‘I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th edition of the Championship very soon.’
It is still not yet known if Williams will try to defend her Australian Open crown, with the American scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the Inside ITF conference in Florida – which takes place slap bang in the middle of the tournament.
Australian Open director Craig Tilley has been confident that she will take part, however, saying it is ‘very likely’ that Williams will take to the court on 15 January.
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