Serena Williams Back at Australian Open

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Published on December 27 2017 6:15 am
Last Updated on December 27 2017 6:16 am

By ESPN

Serena Williams will play her first competitive tennis since the Australian Open at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship this upcoming Saturday, tournament organizers announced Sunday.

Williams will face defending French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match. Williams has not played since winning her 23rd Grand Slam title while approximately eight weeks pregnant.

"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 said in a statement. "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."

During her time off the court, Williams gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. and married her daughter's father, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, in November.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship is expected to be part of Williams' preparation for an Australian Open title defense. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said earlier this month that Williams was "very likely" to play in the first Grand Slam of 2018, which begins Jan. 15.