Serena Williams 'very likely' to return for Australian Open, says Tiley


Defending champion Williams, 36, gave birth to her daughter Alexa in September and married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in a star-studded New Orleans wedding in November.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley believes the first major of the year will be able to accommodate Serena's bolstered following.

Tiley told the Herald Sun the 23-time Grand Slam victor is "very likely" to return to tennis in Melbourne.

She has not played competitively since Melbourne, raising questions over whether the 23-time Slam victor would attempt to defend her title next month and equal Australian Margaret Court's singles record of 24 major titles.

"She's got her visa, she's entered, she's practising", he said.

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"There's no question she'll be ready in our view", Tiley said, according to BBC Sport.

Serena Williams is looking to chase down Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion has since given birth to a daughter, Alexis Olympia, and Wednesday internet mogul Alexis Ohanian.

But Williams' long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou had earlier cast doubts on her appearance at Melbourne Park next month, saying "we will take a decision regarding Australia". She is practicing and getting back in shape.

"We are expecting the AO Game to be a sell-out so we urge fans to get their tickets quickly and come along and enjoy a great day at the tennis, followed by a night at the basketball", ANBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said.