Abu Dhabi - Former world number one and 12-time major victor Novak Djokovic will face Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in his first match in nearly six months at the Mubadala world championships on Friday.
The Florida resident struggled with her movement early on but eventually got into her stride before going down 6-2 3-6 (10-5) to the French Open champion.
However, in their last meeting on an outdoor hard court Bautista Agut pulled off his first win over the 12-time Grand Slam champion in Shanghai.
"I am really honoured to play Serena in her first match after coming back and I think it is such a great opportunity for me".
"I don't know, but I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there".
It was not unlike Andy Murray the previous day in that it took her four or five games to properly find her stride. "I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding".
"Knowing that I have won 23 Grand Slam titles and several other titles, I don't think I have anything more left to prove", she said.
Williams insisted she has a lot more tennis to play. "But I am not done yet". The younger Williams who has 72-career titles has been top of the Women's rankings for 319 weeks and posted her fifth consecutive top-three finish a year ago having won at Wimbledon and Rome.
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Williams again struggled with her serve in the second set.
World number 20 Bautista Agut, a two-time victor on the ATP Tour in 2017, was broken when serving for the first set at 5-3 and then saw three set points come and go in the next game.
"In the beginning, it felt a little tough".
Her unwillingness to make public any planned appearances other than Abu Dhabi leaves observers to wonder if she wants to wait and see how her training goes.
"For me, it is all about physical, how I am feeling physically".
This will be the first-time women players have played in the Championship.
She clinched the set when she showed off fine athleticism to reach a drop shot which caught the top of the net, but then fell short in the decisive match tie-break, too many errors allowing Ostapenko to clinch victory. "I enjoy playing here", said the Latvian. In today's matches, the US Open finalist Kevin Anderson took down Pablo Carreno Busta, whom he defeated in the semi-final in NY as well, by 6-3 7-6, and he will face Dominic Thiem in the semi-final on Saturday. The 14th-ranked Anderson immediately broke Bautista Agut and was never in danger of losing serve in the first set. An aggressive Anderson swept the tiebreaker.