Johanna Konta expects Serena Williams to be the player to beat when she returns to tennis to defend her Australian Open crown next month.
The 36-year-old American was eight weeks pregnant when she triumphed at Melbourne Park 11 months ago and moved on to 23 Grand Slam wins in her illustrious career.
You don’t put anything past Serena. If anyone can come back so soon after giving birth, it’s probably going to be her.Johanna Konta
Williams gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, on 1st September and has been working hard since to get back to full fitness in time to make her comeback in Australia.
She has not played competitively for almost a year, but Konta, who lost to Williams at the 2017 Australian Open, would not be surprised if she retained her title in Melbourne which would move her level with Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Open Era Slam wins.
The British number one said: "You don’t put anything past Serena. If anyone can come back so soon after giving birth, it’s probably going to be her.
"I think regardless of how many matches she's had previously or how much tennis she's played, she's always Serena and the player or the athlete she is, she brings a lot of that to the table regardless."
Konta added: "She's got a big serve but what makes her first serve incredibly difficult is that it's consistently big, and her second serve is very difficult to do anything with.
"She is a very imposing player with the way she presents herself on court and the attitude she plays with. She doesn’t let you get yourself comfortable on court."
Williams is 1212/1 to win the Australian Open, while Konta is available at 1/1.
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