The WTA professional tour is heading into its first big Tennis event of the year as the first Grand Slam tournament is knocking at the door. Unfortunately, the defending champion won't be competing at Melbourne Park. A record seven-time winner of the Aussie Open, Serena Williams decided that it would be a bit too early to resume her professional career only three months after giving birth to a child.

The 2017 Australian Open ended up as an all-around Williams business with Serena and her older sister Venus confronting for the women's singles trophy.

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In the end, it was Serena who slid past her sister at the end of two tight sets. And that match stands as Serena's last official appearance in a tennis tournament in almost a year.

She did try to test the waters last week by playing an exhibition match against 2017 French Open titlist Jelena Ostapenko, but she encountered little success.

Serena Williams looking for a perfect closing party

Aged 36, the American tennis superstar may have delayed her official comeback, but she's not done yet. According to ESPN, the goals the former world No. 1 has set for the future include a glorious return to the top of the women's ranking and a bid to round up those already surreal Grand Slam numbers. Serena aims to reach the 25th Grand Slam success before seriously considering a walk into retirement from professional tennis.

Since her departure, things have been constantly changing at the WTA summit. Several players did well but couldn't do it consistently. Not competing in this year's Australian Open will strip Serena Williams off of her last points, leaving her with no official ranking.

While that may not seem like a big problem for her, it might heat things up when it comes to the rest of the tour. An unseeded Serena will produce shockwaves across the entire WTA current elite.

What to expect from Serena's comeback

Serena Williams might get the mojo back just in time for the first North American outdoor hard swing. The Sunshine Double, which is represented by the events at Indian Wells and Miami, seems like the best place to start. A quick success in at least one of these events would put her back inside the top 50, and from that point, only the sky would be the limit. Serena made it clear that she only comes back to win more, as she has no interest or desire to be the second best or the third best. That speaks plenty about how much hunger she must feel at the moment.