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By Tennis Now | Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Serena Williams

"There is no question she will be ready in our view," Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said of Serena Williams.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Serena Williams has taken the first step toward a Melbourne return.

The reigning Australian Open champion has added her name to the entry list for the 2018 Australian Open.

Watch: Hoops Hit Oz Open

The 36-year-old Williams gave birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia, on September 1st.

The Australian Open begins on January 15th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley told the media in Melbourne he is convinced Williams will try to defend her title next month.

"She has got her visa, she has entered, she's practicing, and she probably just needs a bit more space for a bigger entourage," Tiley told the media. "There is no question she will be ready in our view.

"She wants to break the record owned by Margaret Court and it would be a significant accomplishment for her to be able to do that."


serena is right back at it again! đŸŽŸ @serenawilliams #notoviolence #afamilyaffair #oath

A post shared by Serena & Venus Williams (@venusserenafans) on

In an interview last week, Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, told CNN he will join Serena for training in Florida where the pair will decide if she will play the Australian Open.

“She is practicing and getting back in shape,” Mouratoglou told CNN. “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.”

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is currently ranked No. 22, but would surely be seeded higher if she plays Melbourne. Williams has not played a match since defeating sister Venus, 6-4, 6-4, in the Australian Open final for her Open Era-record 23rd Grand Slam title.

Williams married fiancé Alexis Ohanian on November 16th in a star-studded New Orleans ceremony featuring Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian, Venus and Colton Haynes in attendance.


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