(GUARDIAN) - Serena Williams is "very likely" to return to Melbourne for the 2018 Australian Open, according to tournament director Craig Tiley.
The former world No. 1 gave birth to her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, during this year's US Open, and has not competed professionally since she won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January.
She has been in training since the birth of her daughter with new hitting partner Jarmere Jenkins, but coach Patrick Mouratoglou said last week that she had not yet made a decision on whether she would compete for her eighth Australian Open singles title.
Tiley, however, was much more enthusiastic when asked about the prospect at a Tennis Australia event to announce that NBL ( National Basketball League) clubs Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans would play a game on Hisense Arena during the Australian Open.
"She has got her visa, she has entered, she's practising, and she probably just needs a bit more space for a bigger entourage," Tiley said.
"There is no question she will be ready in our view.
"She wants to break the record owned by Margaret Court and it would be a significant accomplishment.