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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Serena Williams has 'outrageous plan' to defend Australian Open tennis title

Former world No 1 wants to make rapid return to action three months after giving birth.

Serena Williams says she will play only if she knows she can win. Getty Images
Serena Williams says she will play only if she knows she can win. Getty Images

Serena Williams aims to defend her Australian Open title next year, the American saying the rapid return to action would only give her around three months to prepare after giving birth to her first child.

The 23-time grand slam winner announced her pregnancy in April and will be on maternity leave for the rest of the year. She is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

"It's the most outrageous plan," Williams, 35, told Vogue magazine. "I just want to put that out there. That's, like, three months after I give birth. I'm not walking anything back, but I'm just saying it's pretty intense.

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"If I lose and I lose again, it's like, 'she's done'. Especially since I'm not 20 years old. I'll tell you this much: I won't win less. Either I win, or I don't play."

The American added that she could have a few new tricks up her sleeve after analysing her game on television over the last few months.

"I learn by watching. Or I watch old matches of myself on the Tennis Channel," she added.

"I hit amazing shots and these girls are running them down and hitting winners, and I'm beginning to see why. It's because I have patterns."

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