COURTESY: HOWIE KUSSOY

Serena Williams is due to give birth to her first child in September, and has missed the past three Grand Slams because of her pregnancy, but her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, said the 23-time major winner could return to the court in time for January’s Australian Open.

“That’s the goal,” Mouratoglou told SI.com. “It’ll depend on the date from when she can really be back working at 100 percent.”

Since winning this year’s Australian Open, and revealing her pregnancy in April, Williams hasn’t played on tour, but the 35-year-old has continued hitting, in hopes it will reduce her time to return to the court.

Still, it won’t be quickly enough for Williams.

“Serena wants to play again in September, but she’s dreaming,” Mouratoglou said. “It’s something new for her and we don’t know how her body is going to react, or even how the birth is going to go.

“Her motivation is so important that I don’t really have a doubt on the fact that she’s going to work twice as hard to come back. I believe 100 percent in her returning to her best level. There’s no guarantee in sports, but that’s an outstanding challenge for her. She nearly owns all the records so she needs new challenges. It’s great.”

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