US tennis star Serena Williams could return to action as early as January, according to Australian Open organizers, who revealed their hopes to see her competing just four months after she gave birth to her first child.
Australian Open director Craig Tiley said he is looking forward to welcoming Williams at the January tournament, adding that they “have a special relationship with Serena (and) the Williams family,” during a press conference on Tuesday.
“She wants to come back in 2018 and defend her title. Obviously, at training now, there is several months to go. It will be up to her as far as where she is with her fitness.”
The return would mean that Williams, who beat her sister and long-time rival Venus in last year’s Australian Open final, will return to professional sport just four months after giving birth to her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Just two months prior the birth of her daughter, Williams became involved in an argument with tennis legend John McEnroe, who suggested that Williams would be world number 700 if she played on the men’s tour.
Commenting on McEnroe’s remarks, Williams asked him to “respect her privacy” as she was “trying to have a baby.”
She also attracted public attention while pregnant after posing naked for the August edition of Vanity Fair.
During her glittering tennis career Williams has claimed 23 Grand Slam trophies and sits just one title away from matching the all-time record holder, Australian Margaret Court. She is also a four-time Olympic gold medalist.