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Venus Williams returns to competition in BNP Paribas Showdown

Venus Williams hits a return against Serena Williams

Venus Williams hits a return against Serena Williams during the women's singles final on Day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 28, 2017. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / WILLIAM WEST

It’s been a month since Venus Williams played competitive tennis, so Monday night at Madison Square Garden she is easing herself back into the game by playing in the 10th annual BNP Paribas Showdown.

Williams lost to sister Serena in the Australian Open final in January, lost early in a tournament in Russia, then took most of February off, tending to her various business enterprises and getting some rest. “I need that balance in my life,” she said Sunday in Manhattan.

The Showdown starts at 7 p.m. and besides Williams it features French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, American Jack Sock, Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, along with retired legendary players Andy Roddick and Leyton Hewitt.

This year the Showdown will use a World Team Tennis format of five-game matches with no-ad scoring, with teams designated as the Americas vs. the World.

New York Sports