Serena Williams is set to make her return to competitive tennis for the first time in nearly 13 months when she features in the Fed Cup this week.

Williams has not been in action since winning her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open last year when she defeated her sister Venus in the final.

The American was due to take part at Indian Wells soon after but a knee injury saw her withdraw from the event before she eventually took time off from tennis after revealing that she was 20 weeks pregnant in April 2017.

Having given birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September last year, Williams was expected to return at the Australian Open earlier this year and defend her crown. However, she withdrew from the tournament as she was not prepared completely.

The 36-year-old is now braced to finally return as United States Fed Cup captain Kathy Rinaldi revealed that she is "ready to go" on Saturday (10 February) when they face the Netherlands in Asheville, North Carolina.

"Serena's just coming back. She played an exhibition in (December) and it's incredible," Rinaldi said, as per the Daily Mail.

"It's a quick turnaround after having her first child. She's very professional and she has a lot of pride for playing for her country. She'll be ready to go."

Williams will be part of the US team looking to win a record 18th Fed Cup title against an underdog Netherlands side featuring players outside the top 100.

"If you look at Serena, how often does she lose to someone that's not ranked in the Top 10 or Top 20 or outside the Top 100?" Netherlands Fed Cup captain Paul Haarhuis stated. "The odds are not good, but we do believe that it's possible.

"We're the underdog by far, that won't change if they bring in five new players, we're still the underdog, but we still have to believe that it can be possible."

The winning nation will advance to the Fed Cup semi-finals which take place from 21-22 April.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray has backed Williams to make a triumphant return to Wimbledon this year after missing last year's event due to her pregnancy.