Report: Serena Williams ‘very likely’ to return at Australian Open

In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, United States' Serena Williams holds her trophy after defeating her sister Venus during the women's final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. (Aaron Favila/AP)

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley believes Serena Williams is set to make her return to tennis majors at the 2018 Australian Open.

Despite her own coach Patrick Mouratoglou stating just a week ago that there was no set date in place for the 23-time Grand Slam champion to make her return, Tiley’s confidence suggests things have changed quickly.

“She’s got her visa, she’s entered [the tournament], she’s practising, and she’s probably got to find a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” Tiley told the Herald Sun. “There’s no question that she’ll be ready, in our view, and she wants to break a record that is Margaret Court’s.”

While Williams surpassed Steffi Graf to become the holder of the most Grand Slams in the Open Era when she won the 2017 Australian Open, she still trails Court’s 24 Grand Slam singles titles (13 before the Open Era).

This would mark a stunning turnaround for Williams, who revealed she was 20 weeks pregnant on April 20 through a Snapchat video.