Ben Solomon for The New York Times
After her latest long and unexpected break from the sport she once dominated, Serena Williams will return to competition next week at a new tournament, the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky.
What’s different about this layoff is that Williams’s comeback to tour-level tennis will be part of everyone else’s.
Professional players have been on hiatus because the coronavirus pandemic shut down both the men’s and women’s circuits in early March. The question is, how does that affect Williams’s chances of winning the United States Open, the Grand Slam tournament scheduled to begin on Aug.