Serena Williams surprised her fans with massive news on Tuesday. The 40-year-old American will compete again after staying away from the court for over a year, entering the Eastbourne doubles and the Wimbledon singles draw.
Serena Williams was not on the initial Wimbledon entry list, even not with a protected ranking. Andrea Petkovic welcomed Serena’s return, calling it an important moment for the WTA Tour. Also, the German would love to avoid the 23-time Major winner in the first round, probably like the rest of the field.
Serena Williams skipped Wimbledon in 1999, 2006 and 2017, and only a few did not believe it would be the same scenario in 2022. Serena has not played for a year due to an injury and will leave the WTA rankings in a month for the first time since October 1997.
Serena Williams left Wimbledon in tears a year ago following a retirement against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the opening round due to a leg injury. Serena is eager to embrace another deep run at the All England Club and stop the clock despite being one of the oldest remaining players on the Tour.
Serena Williams will compete in Eastbourne and Wimbledon.
She is currently ranked outside the top-1000 and will have to play more tournaments after Wimbledon to be ranked again. Williams has remained competitive for over two decades, winning 23 Major titles and moving one behind Margaret Court’s record.
After only six tournaments on her tally in 2021 and no Major finals, Serena finished the season ranked outside the top-40 for the first time since 2006. The American veteran struggled with injuries and terminated the previous year after tearing her hamstring in the Wimbledon first round.
Serena’s comeback seemed very unlikely a couple of weeks ago, as we saw no footage of her from the tennis court for a while. That all changed on Tuesday, and Williams is back on the surface that has seen her winning seven Major titles.
Serena took a break from tennis after winning the 2017 Australian Open to give birth to a child. She returned in the spring of 2018 and reached four Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in the next16 months. Still, she lost all those encounters against much younger opponents to remain on 23 singles Major titles.
Serena has been dealing with numerous injuries in the past couple of years, and her best result at Majors came at the last year’s Australian Open, where she lost to Naomi Osaka in the semis. Not playing for almost a year, Serena will try to raise her level in Eastbourne alongside Ons Jabeur ahead of her milestone 20th Wimbledon.
“Serena’s return is good for her and bad for us. I think it’s great for the women’s Tour to have her back. Some of my American friends said Serena has low-keyed retired, but I refused to believe that. I’m looking forward to seeing her at tournaments again.
I hope I do not play against her in the first round. I think Serena will be super-fit for Wimbledon; otherwise, she would not try. She must have been working very hard in the last couple of weeks,” Andrea Petkovic said.