Serena Williams to play in Abu Dhabi, will defend Australian Open title

Serena Williams Australian Open Mubadala World Tennis Championship

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Serena Williams is returning to competition with an exhibition match Saturday in Abu Dhabi against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Williams, who got married last month, is now ranked 22nd in the world and would not require a wild card for the Australian Open which begins on January 15. Williams has not competed since winning the Australian Open last January while she was pregnant. While speaking to the press, Serena Williams expressed her delight and showed her dedication to the match. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last month after the pair welcomed their first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian in September.

Serena Williams, 36, also holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined amongst active players.

Williams, who has won an Open-era record 23 Grand Slams, said she was "delighted to be returning to the court".

Royal Wears Racist Brooch to Queen's Christmas Lunch with Meghan Markle
She also told the Mirror: "With Harry frowning seriously beside her, Meghan suddenly sits looking rather small and childlike". Some deemed it a slight to Markle , who attended the event with her fiancé Prince Harry .

Serena Williams is set to compete for the first time since winning the Australian Open (pictured) on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Williams and Ostapenko will be the first women to participate in the 10th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which has long marked the beginning of the men's global tennis season.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championships reclaimed ground after being hit with the withdrawals of Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic as it announced on Sunday that Williams' comeback will start at the invitational event. So we're anxious to see how this game will turn out for the twenty-three time grand slam champion.

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