Serena Williams will make her first competitive appearance since becoming a mother at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships, tournament organixers have confirmed.
Williams has not played since winning a record 23rd grand slam singles title at the Australian Open in January.
She gave birth to a daughter, Alexis, in September but is now ready to make her comeback and will take on surprise French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko at the invitational event in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
"I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September," Williams said in a statement. "The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men's global tennis season and I am excited and honored to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event.
"I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th edition of the championship very soon."
For the first time in the history of #MWTC , we’re bringing you two of the world’s best female players! #MWTC10 will see 23-time Grand Slam champion @serenawilliams making her comeback against the 2017 #rolandgarros Champion Jelena Ostapenko, as they play each other on Day 3! pic.twitter.com/S3uWvxkpa5— MWTC (@MubadalaTennis) December 24, 2017
For Williams, the event is expected to serve as the first of a series of warm-up tournaments as she prepares to try to defend her Australian Open crown at Melbourne Park next month.