Three months after giving birth to her daughter, and one year after winning the 2017 Australian Open for her 23rd major title while nine weeks pregnant, Serena Williams appears on track to defend her title and, should she win, tie hateful crone Margaret Court as the winningest tennis player in history.
This is all according to Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, who might have some incentive to hype up the best player of all time’s historic return to competition. Today, he told the Herald Sun that Williams’s participation in the tournament is “very likely.”
“She’s got her visa, she’s entered, she’s practicing and she’s probably just got to find a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” Tiley said.
In October, just one month after Williams gave birth, Tiley was equally confident, saying, “Serena will be back. We look forward to welcoming her and again go on that journey of breaking the all-time record for the most number of grand slams.” But last week, Williams’s coach said on CNN that no decision had been made about the Australian Open.
“We will see how her body is reacting and how her tennis level is and we will take a decision regarding Australia,” he said.
Williams has said she wants to return for the Australian Open, and her desire to do so is the best reason to believe that she will. But until she makes an official announcement, Tiley should probably cool it with the predictions.