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Serena Williams to play Fed Cup doubles in competitive return

American Serena Williams was drawn on Friday to play doubles in a potentially decisive fifth rubber in this week's Fed Cup first round tie against the Netherlands in what will be her first competitive match in over a year.

The doubles rubber, which is scheduled for Sunday on an indoor hard court in Asheville, North Carolina, will be played even if one side clinches the best-of-five match series through the opening four singles matches.

Serena's sister Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe are set to contest the singles rubbers for the U.S.

Former world number one Serena Williams, who is looking to return to the top of her sport after taking a break due to her pregnancy, has not played a competitive match since she won the Australian Open title last year for her Open-era record 23rd grand slam.

Williams, who gave birth to her daughter last September, lost an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi last December to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and later skipped the year's opening grand slam in January due to concerns about her fitness.

The 36-year-old has not competed in a Fed Cup tie since April 2015 but felt the event was as good as any to start her comeback under the leadership of U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi.

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