January 15, 2020 / 4:00 PM / 6 months ago

Serena Williams returns to U.S. Fed Cup team

FILE PHOTO: Aug 26, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the USA hits to Maria Sharapova of Russia in the first round on day one of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Serena Williams will return to the United States Fed Cup team for a qualifying event against Latvia next month, the United States Tennis Association said on Wednesday.

The 23-times Grand Slam winner, who will begin her quest to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 singles titles at the Australian Open next week, last played for the U.S. in February 2018 following the birth of her daughter.

Williams’ presence in Everett, Washington for the Feb. 7-8 tie will be a huge boost for the U.S. with the 38-year-old having posted a perfect mark of 13-0 in singles play and 3-2 in doubles in Fed Cup competition since 1999.

The winner advances to the 2020 Fed Cup Finals from April 14-19 in Budapest.

The U.S. squad can feature as many as five players and the final nominations must be made by Jan. 28.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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