Serena Williams could return to playing in time to defend Australian Open title
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian Open officials are hopeful Serena Williams will make her competitive comeback to tennis next January to defend her title at Melbourne Park.
At a news conference Tuesday called to announce an increase in prize money for the year's first major, tournament director Craig Tiley said Williams was planning on playing the Jan. 15-28 Australian Open.
Williams was pregnant last January when she beat her sister Venus in the final. Serena gave birth to a daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept. 1 and has previously said she plans to return to playing in 2018.
If that's in Melbourne, she'll be competing for more money.
The tournament's overall prize pool will increase be 55 million Australian dollars ($42.7 million), and the men's and women's singles champions will earn $A4 million (about $3.1 million depending on exchange rates), an increase of 20 percent.
Tiley said Williams was back in training to defend her title.