After winning a handful of grand slams and exiting the tennis stage following her birth of a baby girl last September, Serena Williams says enough has been taking from her.
Serena was ranked by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) as world no. 1 in singles on eight occasions between 2002 and 2017, and for the first time since giving birth to a baby girl on 1 September, the famous tennis star will be playing a few games at the Mubadala exhibition event.
Image: Serena Williams
The 36-year-old is currently prepping to hit the courts in Abu Dhabi, media reports confirm.
Alexis Olympia Ohanian‘s young and athletic mother left the stage in January, shortly after winning the Australian Open while pregnant.
Serena wedded the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans last month. She is preparing to compete ahead at the event ahead of defending her Australian Open title in Melbourne in January.
Although Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou told CNN in an interview last November that they’re yet to reach a conclusion on whether she would compete at next month’s Australian Open, the Melbourne tournament director Craig Tiley has twice said he expects the 36-year-old to show up at the season’s first major.
“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 said of the nursing mom.
“There is no question she will be ready in our view.”
If plans work out as expected, the tennis legend will match up against French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko on 30 December at the event in Abu Dhabi.
The exhibition’s website quotes Serena as saying, “I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September.”
Serena admitted that she feels stressed with the challenges of balancing her roles as a mother and athlete, but asked fans on social media for advice on how she can ease Alexis Olympia’s suffering because, in her words, “it is making her ‘stressed’ and tearful, too.”