Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Serena Williams faces first match as a mother on Saturday
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (Agence France-Presse) — Serena Williams will return to competition with an exhibition match Saturday against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
Williams has not competed since winning the Australian Open last January while she was pregnant. She will face Latvia’s Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in the first year that women will be taking part, organizers for the Abu Dhabi tournament announced Sunday.
“I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September,” Williams, 36, said in a statement.
Williams gave birth to a girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. on Sept. 1. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in November.
Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles – a record for the professional era. She is expected to compete for her 24th at the Australian Open, the first major of the year, which starts Jan. 15 in Melbourne.
“The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season, and I am excited and honored to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event,” Williams said.
Two athletes have withdrawn from the Mubadala event: the men’s world No. 1 player, Rafael Nadal, and the three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka.
The six-strong men’s field in Abu Dhabi includes Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who will also be making a comeback.
Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam champion, has not played since his quarterfinal loss in July to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon because of an elbow injury.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.