Fans around the world have finally witnessed the indomitable Serena Williams in action once again, almost a year after she limped off Wimbledon central court with hamstring injury.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion has partnered with Ons Jabeur in doubles at Eastbourne International to test her competitiveness in a relatively comfortable environment, instead of diving directly into singles. The opening of the couple took place on Tuesday against Sarah Soribes Tormo and Marie Buzkova in front of an unexpectedly full central court.
As soon as the stadium announcer said the words “Representing the United States, Serena Williams!” The audience burst into enthusiastic applause to greet the former world number. 1 back.
The applause lasted an eternity, with some fans even standing up to show their respect for the 40-year-old woman for everything she has done for the sport over the years. Jabeur herself managed to contain her joy by smiling cheekily as she walked over to her partner on her return.
Unfortunately, the Tunisian-American couple did not experience the same condition after the match. The first set ended 6-2 in favor of Soribes Tormo and Buzkova, and once Williams’ serve was broken. The second set is currently underway
Serena Williams’ journey as a single begins at the upcoming Wimbledon Championships
However, the most anticipated return of Serena Williams to play will take place at the Wimbledon Championship in 2022, where the American received a wildcard for the main single circuit.
The former world number 1 is a seven-time winner of the tournament, twice less than Martina Navratilova’s record of nine. The former world number one is also on the lookout for his record 24th Grand Slam title, currently held by Magaret Court. In the Open Age, however, no player has won more majors than the 40-year-old.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion will be a dangerous opponent for anyone in the draw in the early rounds, despite spending a long time aside, a feeling shared even by WTA players themselves.
World number 4 Paula Badosa and world number 5 Maria Sakari revealed in recent interviews that they hoped someone else would pull Williams out in the first round. They were of the opinion that the American was a threat no matter how much time for a match she had under her belt,
Of course, I don’t want to play against her, “said Badosa. I hope the draw is for another player, because of course no one wants to play against Serena and less on the grass. So let’s pray for that.”
“I’m sure everyone wants to avoid her, especially if she wins a few games,” Sakari said. “She will start to feel good in her game, and she is Serena Williams. She is the greatest athlete of all time.”