Palm Beach, Florida, Nov. 9, (GNA/dpa) -
Following the birth of her first child in September, US tennis star Serena
Williams is back in the gym, with a view to returning to the WTA tour in
January and playing at the Australian Open.
"Serena is already training in the gym to regain form slightly," the former world number one's physical therapist, Ruben Mateu, told dpa.
Williams, 36, has not played competitive tennis since she won her 23rd Grand Slam tournament in January in Australia. On September 1, she gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Mateu, who has been part of Williams' team for a year, is set to fly to Palm Beach, Florida, in the coming days to contribute to the tennis star's recovery. However, he is not worried about her prospects.
"When someone's muscles are so well-developed, it is easier for them to recover because muscles have a memory. It is easier to achieve results with that kind of person," Mateu explained.
"The capacity for recovery will be faster for Serena than for any other sportswoman at her level."
The Spanish physical therapist also has few doubts about Williams' determination.
"She is always motivated, but even more so now," he said. "If she returns, it is because she wants to win."
Williams announced in mid-April that she was expecting a child, and she revealed that she had won the Australian Open when she was eight weeks pregnant.
She now hopes to be back on tour to defend her title in the same tournament, set to start on January 15 in Melbourne. If she wins her 24th Grand Slam trophy there, she would be joining Australian Margaret Court at the top of the list of women with the most Grand Slam trophies.
Success on the court after childbirth would not be unprecedented. Belgium's Kim Clijsters won two editions of the US Open and one Australian Open after the birth of her daughter Jada. Further back in time, Court also won her last three Grand Slam titles in 1973, after the birth of her son.