Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Serena 'very likely' to defend Australian Open title

Williams, 36, won this year's Australian Open while pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl in September.

She has not played competitively since Melbourne, raising questions over whether the 23-time Slam victor would attempt to defend her title next month and equal Australian Margaret Court's singles record of 24 major titles.

Speaking to reporters in US, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said it is "very likely" for Serena to come back in January to chase down the record of winning 24 grand slam titles now held by Margaret Court.

"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.

Tiley told the Herald Sun the 23-time Grand Slam victor is "very likely" to return to tennis in Melbourne.

She is targeting the 2019 Melbourne Park competition, which Tiley believes to be her focus in surpassing the record of 24 single titles.

"She wants to break a record that is Margaret Court's", Mr Tilley said.

"We'd be pretty excited about the possibility (of her coming)", he added.

Spectators with Australian Open tickets will be able to attend both the tennis and the basketball, which will see the venue converted for the occasion.

The Australian Open will be held from January 15-28. She has taken time off the tour, raising questions over whether the American would attempt to defend her title next month.

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