Serena Williams set to launch comeback in Abu Dhabi
Dec 26 2017
The December 30 match is part of the Mudabala World Tennis Championship, with Williams and this year's FrenchOpen victor Ostapenko making history as the first women to take part in the tournament.
The decision to play in the United Arab Emirates should virtually confirm Williams' participation at MelbournePark. She gave birth to a daughter on September 1 and has vowed to get back on court for January's Open.
The Mubadala tournament comes ahead of next month's AustralianOpen, where Williams is expected to defend her title.
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.
Williams has a chance to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 GrandSlam titles, although she will have to make do with a low seeding in Australia after slipping to 22nd in the rankings.
Williams' last tournament win was even more legendary, given she was two-months pregnant at the time.
The arrival of the American would be a boost for the event, which lost Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic in quick order after all failed to recover fully from 2017 injuries.
The 36-year old will play World No. 7 Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match on December 30.
The six-strong men's field in Abu Dhabi features former world number one Novak Djokovic, who will also be making his comeback. On December 30, as well as 29, fans will be able watch also the 12-time GrandSlam victor Novak Djokovic, who will face Andrey Rublev or Dominic Thiem in the semifinals and then will play the third or first place final.