Rome:Top-ranked Serena Williams has asked for and received a wild card for next month's Italian Open, signaling that she's ready to return from a knee injury.
Having been sidelined since her Australian Open title in January, Williams originally did not enter the tournament in Rome, which begins May 3 and is a key clay-court warmup for the French Open.
Williams won the Italian Open in 2002 en route to her only title at Roland Garros.
Tournament organizers announced the wild card for Williams on Tuesday, adding that nine of the top 10 women have entered, with No. 10 Kim Clijsters the only exception.