23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams will return to action since the birth of her daughter. She will battle against French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Championship in Abu Dhabi next week. This match will be the 36-year-old’s first in nearly a year. This kind of news is music to all Serena Williams fans as she prepares to try to defend her Australian Open crown in January. What made the 2017 Australian Open crown all the more special was that she won while pregnant.
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. I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event”. Williams and Ostapenko will be the first women to participate in the 10th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season.
The Mubadala World championship runs from 31 December to 2 January and will be the acid test for the American. The match between her and Ostapenko will be an exhibition match. Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou remained cautious on Serena’s Australian Open participation. He said that no decision had been made over whether Williams would play in the season’s first Grand Slam. Meanwhile, Australian Open director Craig Tilley was more optimistic about Williams’ chances of defending her title at the 2018 tournament, which starts on 15 January. Since she is ranked 22nd in the world, she does not need a wildcard.
On the Men’s front, Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka have pulled out of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Instead they are opting to take it easy and not exert themselves or aggravate any injury before Melbourne.