Serena Williams will make her return to singles competition at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday night after a 14-month absence.
The two-time Indian Wells champion, Serena Williams, announced via social media that she’ll be returning to pro tennis since giving birth. Williams hadn’t played an official singles match since winning the 2017 Australian Open. Here’s a snippet of her announcement on Instagram:
It’s official. My comeback is here. This Thursday, I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida-both my home states. Thursday, the day I play my very first match , marks international women’s day.
Williams will face Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas Thursday night. In both times these two have met, Williams won both meetings the most recent at Indian Wells in 2015. The 23-time Grand Slam winner has been keeping her feet moving competing in the Tie Break Tens event in Madison Square Garden, but lost in the semifinals. Despite losing, Williams’ spirit and confidence were high as she turned to the crowd and said, “I had a great time. I feel so lucky to be out here, and I’m ready to play.”
In February, she joined sister Venus Williams in doubles at the Fed Cup, but lost in straight sets.
Stating she would be playing in tournaments in both her home states could mean she’ll also be competing in the Miami Open, which is scheduled to begin March 19. A face-off between the Williams sisters could happen at Indian Wells as well. Serena would have to make the third round and Venus would have to win two matches, since she has been awarded a BYE.
Williams’ return does come just time for her to play the smaller tournaments in preparation for Roland Garros in late May. At 36 years old, only time and patience will tell if Serena Williams has it in her to return back to championship form. Let’s be real, she has more records to break!