Serena Williams to return at Australia Open, says tournament chief

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Melbourne United will host Cairns Taipans at Hisense Arena in the second week of the Australian Open after partnering with Tennis Australia to deliver "a Grand Slam first".

And that will come at Melbourne Park after Tiley revealed the 23-time grand slam champion has entered the tournament with the target of eventually surpassing Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

Serena, who recently got married and give birth to a baby girl, hasn't played since winning her 23rd Grand Slam at the event a year ago.

But according to tournament director Craig Tiley, Williams has got her Visa, has officially entered the competition, and has already started practising for 2018.

"We'd be pretty excited about the possibility (of her coming)", he added.

The Australian Open runs from January 15-28 with the Melbourne-Cairns showdown on the 24th. "Roger Federer travels with his four kids and we are a family-friendly event", he said, referring to Williams and her baby.

Mateu, however, admitted that he was not anxious about Williams' prospects, knowing the kind of a person she is. "The capacity for recovery will be faster for Serena than for any other sportswoman at her level", Mateu said. The total tournament purse has risen 10 percent to A$55 million.