Serena Williams will join sister Venus and CoCo Vandeweghe in Team USA’s defence of its Fed Cup title in February, it has been announced.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the Australian Open earlier this month after hoping to return to competitive tennis following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia on September 1.
The former world number one, 36, and her seven-time major winning sister, 37, have been on the same Fed Cup team eight times.
Along with world number nine Vandeweghe, 26, they are the first names of the four-woman team to be released by Team USA ahead of the squad’s meeting with the Netherlands in Ashville, North Carolina, between February 10 and 11.
The title defence comes after a disappointing time Down Under for Venus and Vandeweghe, who were knocked out in the first round alongside a series of US players on a day of upsets.
Williams won the 2017 Australian Open while nine weeks pregnant and had returned to the court on December 30 at the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, where she lost an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion.
On January 5 she announced that she would not compete at Melbourne Park, saying: “Although I am super close, I’m not where I want to be.”
Williams said: “My coach and team always said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way’.
“I can compete – but I don’t want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”
“I have my sights on 25, and actually, I think having a baby might help,” Williams told the February edition of Vogue magazine – of which she graces the cover.