Serena has hinted at a return to the tennis court after taking time out to have her first baby. Photo Credit: Lukas Coch/BackpagePix

MELBOURNE - American Serena Williams dropped a large hint that she could soon be back on court competing when she posted an Instagram photo of a pair of dazzling gold and white tennis shoes.

Williams, who won her 23rd grand slam singles title at last year's Australian Open before taking time out to have her first child, has entered next month's tournament in Melbourne.

“Be excited. Be very excited...” the 36-year-old said in the post which attracted 135,000 likes in the space of an hour.

Williams gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September and was married to Alexis Ohanian last month.

Few female players have won grand slams after taking a break to start a family, although Kim Clijsters won the 2009 U.S. Open in her third tournament back after having a daughter.

Australians Evonne Goolagong and Margaret Court also managed it. Court's 24 grand slam singles titles remains a record although only 11 of them were in the professional era. 

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