Serena Williams confirms entry into Austrian tournament next week, ending 3-month hiatus

Thursday, October 7, 2010

SWilliams returning to tennis next week in Austria

LINZ, Austria — Serena Williams is returning to the WTA Tour at next week’s Generali Ladies Linz after being sidelined since July by a cut on her right foot.

Organizers said the Wimbledon and Australian Open champion confirmed her entry Thursday, the same day she lost her No. 1 ranking.

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will take over the top spot when the rankings are released Monday.

Williams had surgery after cutting her foot on broken glass at a restaurant after winning Wimbledon. She returned to practice in September but twice put off her comeback, withdrawing from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and this week’s China Open in Beijing.

Linz will be only the seventh tournament of the year for Williams, who already had qualified for the end-of-season championships in Doha.

She also has made herself available for the U.S. Fed Cup team that is playing Italy in the final Nov. 6-7 in San Diego.

Williams’ sister Venus said Tuesday she would not play again this year because of a left knee injury that has sidelined her for most of the second half of season.

Serena Williams has played in Linz once — in 2004, when she lost in the second round to Russia’s Alina Jidkova.

Former champion Daniela Hantuchova at No. 26 is the second-highest ranked player at the $220,000 tournament. U.S. Open quarterfinalist Dominika Cibulkova and last year’s runner-up Petra Kvitova are also taking part.

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