'She has a lot of pride' - US Fed Cup captain says Serena Williams ready to return to tennis after daughter's birth

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AAP

Serena Williams will be "ready to go" when she returns to action this week in the United States' Fed Cup first round tie against the Netherlands, captain Kathy Rinaldi says.

Serena Williams (USA) def Venus Williams (USA)

Serena Williams.

Source: Photosport

Williams has not played a WTA tournament since she won the Australian Open title last year and skipped this year's opening grand slam due to concerns about her fitness four months after giving birth to her first child.

Rinaldi said she expects Williams, who was named in the US squad that will compete on an indoor hard court in Asheville, North Carolina, to make a smooth transition in her return to competitive tennis.

"Serena's just coming back. She played an exhibition in (December) and it's incredible," Rinaldi said.

"It's a quick turnaround after having her first child. She's very professional and she has a lot of pride for playing for her country. She'll be ready to go."

Williams, 36, has played once since winning an Open-era record 23rd grand slam singles title in Melbourne last year, losing to Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi last December.

For Williams, who has received a wildcard for next month's Miami Open, this weekend will mark the first time she has competed in a Fed Cup tie since April 2015.

She heads a team made up of older sister Venus, world No.17 CoCo Vandeweghe and world No.62 Lauren Davis.

Netherlands captain Paul Haarhuis said his squad would have to pull off what he felt might be "the biggest upset in US tennis history" to win.

"If you look at Serena, how often does she lose to someone that's not ranked in the Top 10 or Top 20 or outside the Top 100?" he said. "The odds are not good, but we do believe that it's possible."

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