Tennis

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Serena Williams to return to action on December 30

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Serena Williams will make her playing comeback following the birth of her daughter at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Williams has not played since winning the Australian Open in January, while she was six weeks pregnant, but will return to court to play French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko next Saturday (December 30).

The 36-year-old, who gave birth to Alexis Jr in September, is planning to make a competitive return at the Australian Open next month.

“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 told the tournament’s official website.

“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.”

Men’s world number one Rafael Nadal was also supposed to play in the event but withdrew due to ongoing troubles with his knee.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship was first staged in 2009 but Williams' clash against Ostapenko will be the first women's match to feature at the event.

The Latvian said: "It is a huge honour to be part of that history."

Meanwhile Williams' participation also suggests - providing she emerges from her comeback unscathed - the 36-year-old will be in Melbourne to defend her Australian Open title at the start of 2018.

She is currently ranked 22 in the world so would not require a wildcard to compete.

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Topics:
Tennis
Serena Williams
Australian Open

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