Serena Williams “absolutely” doubted she would compete again

Tennis – Eastbourne International – Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club, Eastbourne, UK – June 21, 2022. Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her match in the doubles quarterfinals with Ons Jabeur of Tunisia against Sara Soribes Tormo of Spain and Marie Buzkova of the Czech Republic. Images / Andrew Boyers

EASTBURN, England – Serena Williams returned to tennis after a year-long absence with a doubles victory at Eastbourne International on Tuesday, and while the American giant confirmed her love of the game, she said her future on the track remains uncertain.

The 23-time grand champion has not played competitive tennis since limping from her first-round match last year Wimbledon in tears over a leg injuryand the 40-year-old said there were times when she doubted she would ever compete again.

However, Williams, who won seven Wimbledon titles in singles, took a replacement sign for Major of Grass and began training with a doubles victory with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

“You know what, I literally take it day in and day out,” Williams told reporters about his plans, saying she “absolutely” had doubts about returning to the Tour.

“I really spent some time with the thigh injury, so I just don’t make many decisions after that.”

Williams won the last of his 23 Australian Open Grand Slam titles in 2017 and remains ashamed to equal Margaret Court’s record for the biggest titles.

She reached the finals of four majors after returning to the Tour after giving birth daughter Olympia in 2017, but lost in consecutive sets anyway.

Speculation about retirement gained momentum when Williams, who dropped to No. 1204, released longtime coach Patrick Muratoglu in April to coach Romanian Simona Halep.

Asked if she is expected to play next year, Williams said: “I don’t know, I can’t answer.

“But I love tennis and I love to play, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, would I?”

“But I also love what I do off the court, what I built with Serena Ventures is interesting.”

Wimbledon’s main draw starts on Monday.

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