*Serena Williams, recovering from the removal of a blood clot in her lung as well as a nagging foot injury, plans to play tennis in July for the Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis.
The nine-team US league, which will stage a 36th season from July 4-24, announced on Thursday that Williams is scheduled to play in Washington on July 7 against the Boston Lobsters and when the Kastles visit Sacramento on July 9.
The reigning Wimbledon champion had said after her surgery for a blood clot that travelled from a leg into her lungs that she was hopeful of a summer return, but was unsure exactly when she might be back on the court.
The former world number one, a 13-time Grand Slam champion, would need to be ready by June 20 to defend her Wimbledon title. The women’s final is set for July 2.
Williams has not played a top-level match since last year’s Wimbledon final after cutting her right foot on broken glass at a restaurant last July.
Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism and underwent an emergency operation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles last week, a health scare she called “the scariest moment in my life”.
“Luckily enough, I was able to catch it soon enough that my career won’t be affected,” Williams told NBC on Wednesday. “I love tennis and now more than anything I have so much to look forward to just playing.
“I really just want to come back and do well.”
Venus Williams, Serena’s elder sister and a five-time Wimbledon winner who has seven Grand Slam titles overall, plans to play for the Kastles on July 5 against visiting Kansas City despite being sidelined currently with an injury.
Venus Williams withdrew from the Australian Open with a right hip injury and has not played since, unable to defend her only titles from 2010 last month at Dubai and Acapulco.