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Tennis 10sBalls News Flash • Serena Williams To Launch Comeback Next Week In Abu Dhabi

Photo by @serenawilliams via Instagram

 

 

Serena Williams will ring in her return before the New Year begins.

 

The 23-time Grand Slam champion will play reigning Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko in a December 30th exhibition at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

 

It will be Williams’ first match since she gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian on September 1st and her first match since she defeated sister Venus to capture her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

 

It will be the first time women players have played at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

 

The 5 p.m. exhibition reinforces growing speculation the 36-year-old Williams will try to defend her Australian Open crown. Williams is aiming to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam championships.

 

“I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September,” Williams said in a statement. “The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honored 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.”

 

The Australian Open begins on January 15th.

 

Earlier this month, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley told the media in Melbourne he is convinced Williams will try to defend her title next month.

 

“She has got her visa, she has entered, she’s practicing, and she probably just needs a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” Tiley told the media. “There is no question she will be ready in our view.

 

“She wants to break the record owned by Margaret Court and it would be a significant accomplishment for her to be able to do that.”

 

The reigning Australian Open champion is currently ranked No. 22, but would surely be seeded higher if she plays Melbourne. Williams has not played a match since defeating sister Venus, 6-4, 6-4, in the Australian Open final for her Open Era-record 23rd Grand Slam title.

 

Williams married fiancé and father of their beautiful child Alexis Ohanian on November 16th in a star-studded New Orleans ceremony featuring Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, Zina Garrison, Kim Kardashian, Venus and Colton Haynes in attendance.

Photo by @serenawilliams via Instagram

 

Photo by @serenawilliams via Instagram

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