Serena Williams is set to make her tennis comeback at the Australian Open with her return to Melbourne for the season’s opening Grand Slam “very likely”.
Williams, 36, won this year’s first Slam while pregnant, beating her sister Venus in the final, and gave birth to a baby girl in September.
She has not played competitively since Melbourne, raising questions over whether the 23-time Slam winner would attempt to defend her title next month and equal Australian Margaret Court’s singles record of 24 major titles.
But tournament director Craig Tiley is optimistic Williams will return for a crack at her seventh Melbourne Park crown after marrying Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last month.
Tiley declared that Williams’s return to tennis in Melbourne was “very likely”.
“She’s got her visa, she’s entered, she’s practicing and she’s probably just got to find a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” he told Melbourne’s Herald Sun.
“There’s no question that she’ll be ready in our view and she wants to break a record that is Margaret Court’s. It would be a pretty significant accomplishment for her to be able to do that.”
Tiley described the Australian Open, which will be held from January 15-28, as a “family-friendly event”.
“We’ve had this before. Roger Federer travels with his four kids and we are a family-friendly event,” he said, referring to Williams and her baby.