Serena set to return to tennis in Abu Dhabi exhibition against Ostapenko

Kevin Anderson reached his first grand slam final in September at the US Open losing to Rafael Nadal. Adam Hunger  AP

But she will be back on the court at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The American, who has never played the 20-year-old Ostapenko, will face the Latvian in the tournament's first ever women's match.

"I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September", she said in a statement on Sunday.

Williams has a chance to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles, although she will have to make do with a low seeding in Australia after slipping to 22nd in the rankings. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou said in November that no decision had been made over whether Williams would play in the season's first Grand Slam. She has announced her return and participation at the exhibition event, which will commemorate its 10-year anniversary, and it will also be the first time that women feature in these Championships.

"Last season was really incredible for me and I can not wait to continue the start of my new season at such an unbelievable event".

Tennis star Serena Williams is coming to the United Arab Emirates to play at the Mudabala World Tennis Championship.

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American tennis idol Serena Williams will soon return to action after nearly a year of absence due to maternity leave.

However, the inclusion of a women's match - particularly involving Williams on her return - has added a new and exciting dimension to this year's tournament. "Last season was really incredible for me and I can not wait to continue the start of my new season at such an awesome event", said the 20-year-old Latvian.

The photo itself is a simple selfie of Williams and her firstborn, but what we love most about it isn't necessarily what's in the foreground.

The trio have been replaced by Roberto Bautista-Agut, Kevin Anderson and Andrey Rublev, and they join former world No 1 and 12-time grand slam victor Novak Djokovic, as well as Pablo Carreno Busta and Dominic Thiem.

Saturday will kick off with the third-place play-off at 2.30pm, followed by Williams against Ostapenko, and concluding with the final at 7pm.

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