Stosur in awe of returning Williams

28 December 2017 23:42:59 GMTPlus11

Sam Stosur says it will be a remarkable achievement if Serena Williams is able to challenge for the Australian Open title just months after giving birth.

The 36-year-old, who has won 23 Grand Slam titles, won the title in Melbourne earlier this year.

She became a mother for the first time in mid-September and says she's ready to return to the court.

Williams announced earlier this week that she would play French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

However, there's no precedent for a player of Williams' age to return to tennis after having a baby.

Kim Clijsters won the US Open in 2009, 18 months after giving birth to her first child, but was only 26 at the time.

Stosur said of Williams: "I think it'd be absolutely remarkable if she does - it would be one of the quickest comebacks ever.

"Given the changes and everything she would've gone through I wouldn't expect her to be out here if she doesn't feel like she's ready to play at her best. But if anyone is going to come back after a few months, you wouldn't bet against Serena, that's for sure."

Tennis Australia are confident Williams will play at Melbourne Park from 15th January.

Stosur, the former US Open champion who is now 33, will prepare for the Australian Open by playing at the Brisbane International starting on Sunday.

She played five tournaments late in the year to test the recovery of a hand injury that had kept her out of Wimbledon and the US Open.

As the world No. 41, Stosur will be unseeded at the tournament and will then move on to Melbourne where she will look to improve on a first-round exit last summer to Garbine Muguruza.

Serena Williams is 1212/1 to win the Australian Open title.

Sam Stosur is 66/1 to win the French Open singles title.

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