World

Serena won't play singles in return to court

Serena Williams makes a backhand return to her sister Venus during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne Australia

Serena Williams, who has not played a competitive match since she won the Australian Open title past year, will team up with Lauren Davis in a doubles match that will be played even if the USA clinch the tie earlier.

The 36-year-old superstar has not played a competitive match since winning the last of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open last year, where she was in the early stages of pregnancy.

"I have long-term goals obviously, but right now my main goal is just to stay in the moment", she said. I've been able to really rely on her for that.' Serena also spoke about Roger Federer, who won three Grand Slams in the last 12 months: '(He) is a really great tennis player.

That means she isn't scheduled to play in either of the singles matches on Saturday which are followed by reverse singles on Sunday, but will instead play in a doubles tie with team-mate Davis against Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.

Serena's sister Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe are set to contest the singles rubbers for the US.

"She'll be ready to go".

Williams' victory at the Australian Open in 2017 was her 23rd Grand Slam title - the most in the Open era, and one shy of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court. "I'm well aware of the record books, unfortunately. The thing about Serena is she's never going to come back unless she feels she's where she wants to be tennis-wise, physically and mentally". But this weekend's headline is the return of Serena Serena, who participated in a Dec.30 exhibition match but otherwise hasn't played since that 2017 Australian Open.

She is competing in a Fed Cup tie for the first time since April 2015.

The United States is the defending Fed Cup champion, having defeated Belarus 3-2 last November in the final at Minsk.

Coco Vandeweghe and Lauren Davis complete a United States line-up that is expected to earn a relatively easy victory over a Dutch team, all of whom are ranked outside the top 100 in the WTA singles rankings. It's a great opportunity to get a new set of eyes on what I've been doing with Kathy (Rinaldi).

The victor advances to the April 21-22 semi-finals.

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