Relaxed Serena Williams ready for comeback at Fed Cup

Updated: Feb 09, 2018, 15:43 IST | AFP

Serena Williams returns to tennis after a year-long absence on Saturday, with all eyes on the former world number one as she sets out on her quest to reclaim her position at the pinnacle of her sport

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Serena Williams returns to tennis after a year-long absence on Saturday, with all eyes on the former world number one as she sets out on her quest to reclaim her position at the pinnacle of her sport. The 36-year-old superstar has not played a competitive match since winning the last of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open last year, where she was in the early stages of pregnancy. Since giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia in September, Williams has played only once, in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi in December, where she lost to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Williams had initially targeted last month's Australian Open for a comeback, but abandoned that ambitious goal after declaring she was not "where I personally want to be". Instead, she will get her first taste of competitive tennis when the United States kick off the defence of their Fed Cup crown against the Netherlands at Asheville, North Carolina.

Williams heads a powerful US team that includes her elder sister, and eighth-ranked, Venus, world number 17 CoCo Vandeweghe as well as world number 62 Lauren Davis. The tie opens with two singles rubbers on Saturday followed by reverse singles on Sunday, with doubles as the fifth rubber if required.

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