Serena set to return to tennis in Abu Dhabi exhibition against Ostapenko

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Serena Williams will make her comeback at the Mubadala exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on December 30, tournament organisers announced on 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", the 36-year-old Williams said in a statement. It will be the first time that women championship will be hosted in Abu Dhabi.

The legendary American won a record-breaking 23 Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open earlier this year, edging her sister Venus Williams in straight sets, and was since on maternity leave. She is expected to compete for her 24th at the Australian Open, the first major of the year.

Tennis fans around the world have a special treat in-store at the 10 Edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC).

Men's world No.1 Rafael Nadal was also supposed to play in the event but withdrew due to ongoing troubles with his knee.

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The Rockets were 10-4 with Paul out, winning six straight before a loss November 12 in the final game before his return. Eric Gordon will return to the starting lineup in the role he filled when Paul missed 14 games with a bruised knee.

"Last season was really incredible for me and I can not wait to continue the start of my new season at such an unbelievable event".

The 23-time Grand Slam victor will take on a fellow Major victor in the form of Jelena Ostapenko on December 30, who stunned Simona Halep to win the French Open last June.

Williams has been targeting a return for that same tournament, which is just a few weeks away, and now it has been confirmed that she will take part in a warm-up tournament.

As the two highest-seeds, Thiem and Djokovic will await the winners in Friday's semi-final, with Thiem taking on the victor from the first match, and Djokovic the second.

In a surprise move, Serena Williams will play an exo match at next week's Abu Dhabi event.

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