Serena Williams has dropped her biggest hint yet that a return to competitive action is not too far away.

Williams hints at comeback

Williams hints at comeback

The American ace ended her 2017 season in April after announcing that she was pregnant, and gave birth to a daughter in September.

The 36-year-old had already won a 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open but was forced to miss the other three during her pregnancy.

Williams made no secret of the fact that she always intended to return to the sport and is keen to add to her tally of Major championship victories.

It was thought that the Australian Open might come too soon but tournament director Craig Tiley stated just last week that the Florida resident had entered the event and he fully expected her to make the line up in Victoria.

The seven-time Aussie Open champion has now added to the speculation by posting an Instagram photo of a pair of dazzling gold and white tennis shoes, with the words "Be excited. Be very excited" next to them.