July 17, 2020 / 12:36 AM / a month ago

Serena to play the new Top Seed Open in August

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Third Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 24, 2020 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during the match against China's Qiang Wang REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

(Reuters) - Serena Williams will return to the court for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic when she competes at the inaugural edition of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky beginning Aug. 10, the WTA said on Thursday.

It will mark the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s first match since she helped Team USA defeat Latvia in Fed Cup play in Everett, Washington in February.

Another U.S. Open champion, fellow American Sloane Stephens, will also compete at the event, the WTA said.

Last week, the WTA confirmed the addition of events in Prague, Czech Republic and Lexington to its provisional calendar, which now features 21 tournaments.

The WTA Tour, suspended since March due to the pandemic, last month announced it would resume in Palermo, Italy on Aug. 3.

The Cincinnati Masters is scheduled to be played at Flushing Meadows, New York in mid-August followed by the U.S. Open, also at its usual Flushing Meadows home, from Aug. 31-Sept. 13.

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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