Serena Williams has confirmed she will be competing at next year's Australian Open after recovering from a long injury stint.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner suffered a problem with her calf at Wimbledon back in June and has been out of action since.
She was forced to withdraw in her opening match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus at the All England Club.
Williams has struggled with her form this year. After reaching the Australian Open semi-finals in February, her performances hit a downward slope and she failed to make it past the round of 16 in any of the tournaments she competed in.
She suffered early exits in Rome, Parma and at Roland-Garros before her unfortunate injury at Wimbledon.
However, she has since returned to full fitness and has admitted she feels "much better" as she looks ahead to 2022 in Melbourne.
"The hamstring is better," Williams said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "It took a long time. It took forever, but it's much better now."
The 40-year-old is still seeking a record-equalling 24th major title and the Australian Open looks to be her best shot at doing so.
She has won the title on seven occasions — the most any other player has ever won at the tournament during the Open Era — and came close to an eighth earlier this year, but fell to eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the semi-final.
Williams has said she is "definitely" expecting to compete in Australia next year.
She is currently 41st in the world rankings, slipping down the pile after failing to win a Grand Slam since 2017. Her highest ranking this year was seventh in the world, showing the impact a run of unfortunate form can have.
If Williams claims the title at the Australian Open, a tournament she is known for dominating, she will skyrocket back up towards the sharp end of the rankings.News Now - Sport News