In January 2017, Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams to lift the Australian Open. In spite of being a tense family affair, it was an easy victory for Serena. Defeating Venus in straight sets by 6-4, 6-4, she lifted her record 23rd grand slam in a professional era.
Later, it emerged the 36-year old was two-months pregnant while cruising through her victory. The pregnancy and the birth of her first child in September kept Serena out of tennis for the rest of the year. But, with Australian Open set to return in January, the tennis star could come back to defend her title.
Speaking to reporters in US, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said it is “very likely” for Serena to come back in January to chase down the record of winning 24 grand slam titles currently held by Margaret Court.
The tennis player is back in training but has still not made an official statement on her return. But Tiley said Serena could come to try and equal Margaret’s record by winning her seventh Australian Open. “She has got her visa, she has entered [the tournament], she is practicing and she probably just needs a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” the tournament director said.
Tiley further added that if Serana is able to return and defend her title, it would be a huge achievement. “There is no question she will be ready in our view and she wants to break the record owned by Margaret Court and it would be a significant accomplishment,” he said.
Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, in an interview to CNN, had earlier said that the decision on Serena’s return will be taken after seeing how she fares in training. “Serena is getting ready for 2018. She is practicing and getting back in shape. I will be joining her soon in Florida. We will see how her body is reacting and how her tennis level is and we will take a decision regarding Australia,” he said.
The Australian Open will be held from January 15-28.