Serena Williams returning to competition for US Fed Cup team

 
 
Updated 1/23/2018 9:59 PM
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  • FILE - In this Jan. 28. 2017, file photo, United States' Serena Williams follows through on a backhand return to her sister Venus during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia. The U.S. Tennis Association says Williams will return to competition for the first time in more than a year at the country's Fed Cup matches against the Netherlands next month. Williams has not played an official match since winning the Australian Open in January 2017 for her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. She was pregnant during that tournament and gave birth to a daughter on Sept. 1.

    FILE - In this Jan. 28. 2017, file photo, United States' Serena Williams follows through on a backhand return to her sister Venus during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia. The U.S. Tennis Association says Williams will return to competition for the first time in more than a year at the country's Fed Cup matches against the Netherlands next month. Williams has not played an official match since winning the Australian Open in January 2017 for her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. She was pregnant during that tournament and gave birth to a daughter on Sept. 1. Associated Press

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Serena Williams is ready to return to competition for the first time in more than a year, a little more than five months after giving birth.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that Williams will represent the country in its first-round Fed Cup matches against the Netherlands in Asheville, North Carolina, on Feb. 10-11.

Williams, who became a mother on Sept. 1, has not played an official match since winning the Australian Open in January 2017 for her 23rd Grand Slam singles title, setting a record for most in the professional era. She later revealed she was pregnant during that tournament.

Joining Williams on U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi's roster will be older sister Venus, a seven-time major champion. The siblings have not played on the Fed Cup team together in three years. Serena last played in April 2015; Venus in February 2016.

Also on the team that will face the Netherlands on an indoor hard court: CoCo Vandeweghe, a semifinalist at the Australian Open and U.S. Open last year. A fourth member of the U.S. squad will be announced next week.

U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys said she would not play the in the first round because Rinaldi has asked her to commit to the semifinals in April, should the U.S. make it that far.

"I think it's always great to have Serena around and playing," Keys said at the Australian Open on Wednesday. "Also to have her playing Fed Cup, it's always fun to be on a team with Serena. I'm very much looking forward to having her back on the tour."

The U.S. won last year's Fed Cup, the country's record 18th title but first since 2000.

Serena Williams told Vogue magazine that she dealt with a medical scare, developing several small blood clots in her lungs, right after Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. was born.

She played in an exhibition match on Dec. 30 to test her game, but then decided to pull out of this month's Australian Open.

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More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

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