Serena Williams, 37, will has been confirmed to play at the Australian Open in January, the first time since 2017. The great American, who’s lifted seven titles at the event, will seek to clinch a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title when the tournament begins on January 14.
Williams lifted the title in 2017, breezing to the final without the loss of a set while she was eight weeks pregnant. She went on to defeat her sister Venus in straight sets in a solid final performance. The American then took time off the game to give birth to her daughter, and after beating the complications that arose after delivery, she returned to competitive action in March this year. Twice she came close to winning her 24th Grand Slam title — at Wimbledon and the US Open — but came up short in both finals.
After her final against Naomi Osaka at the US Open, one that was bathed with controversy, the 37-year-old drew the curtain on her 2018 season.
Williams is scheduled to play an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi in the final week of the year before heading down under to begin her warm-up for the first Grand Slam of the year.
“Serena Williams, currently ranked 16, will make her highly anticipated return to Melbourne for the first time since winning in 2017 when eight-weeks pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia,” said tournament organiser Craig Tiley.
Among those confirmed to participate is five-time finalist, Andy Murray, who missed three of the four Grand Slams last year due to a hip injury.
Now ranked 259th in the world in the wake of a surgery on his injured joint, Murray has entered the tournament with his protected ranking of number two.
The Australian Open will kick off on 14 — 27 January at Melbourne Park, Australia.