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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, June 14, 2022

 
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Serena Williams suggests in a social media post she will return to tennis at Wimbledon later this month.

Photo credit: Adam Pretty/Getty

Serena Williams announced her comeback is coming at Wimbledon.

The former world No. 1 will play Wimbledon on a wild card. Serena Williams, who announced her comeback in an Instagram post this morning, will warm-up for Wimbledon playing Eastbourne doubles with Ons Jabeur next week.

More: Rafa on Grand Slam Race

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena posted this image of her standing on a grass court clad in her Nike grass-court shoes with her customary ankle wrappings and her Wilson racquet bag in the background.

The 40-year-old Williams captioned the image "SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022 See you there.

"Let’s Go #renasarmy."




Wimbledon, which starts on June 27th, confirmed Williams' return on a wild card.




Earlier this spring, Williams hinted at a Wimbledon comeback in a brief social media interview she did with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion will warm up for Wimbledon playing Eastbourne doubles with Jabeur next week.

“I am excited to return to the Rothesay International tournament in England and to be back on the grass - a surface that has been so good to me throughout my career," Williams said in a statement. "Eastbourne has a unique charm that you don’t see anywhere else on Tour and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.”

It will be Williams' first tournament appearance since she retired in tears from her 2021 Wimbledon opener after suffering a hamstring injury.




Last June, Williams' quest for a record-tying 24th major championship ended abruptly and painfully at The Championships. The four-time Olympic gold-medal champion retired in tears after suffering a right leg injury in her Wimbledon opener.

The sixth-seeded Williams suffered a leg injury after slipping on Centre Court in her opener against world No. 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich.




Williams, who took the court wearing heavy taping wrapping her right thigh, led the first set 3-2 when she took an awkward step on the backcourt while trying to hit a forehand. She then took a medical time out to have her right leg examined by the trainer. Williams began to cry serving at 3-all, took another tumble to the turf before pulling the plug on the match. Williams received a standing ovation from Centre Court fans as she left the court tears welling in her eyes.

Much has changed since Serena's painful exit from SW19.

Ash Barty went on to win Wimbledon and the Australian Open before abruptly retiring from the pro circuit, Emma Raducanu made history as the first qualifier, male or female, to capture a Grand Slam singles crown at the US Open, Iga Swiatek is riding a 35-match winning streak, matching Venus Williams' record, after regaining Roland Garros. Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena's long-time coach, is now coaching Simona Halep, who swept Serena in the 2019 Wimbledon final, though Williams' WTA player page still lists Mouratoglou as her coach.

Prior to the start of Roland Garros, Tennis Now asked Hall of Famer Pam Shriver, who mentored Venus when she first joined the WTA Tour, what was more likely to occur in 2022: a Serena Williams return or a Roger Federer comeback?

Shriver said the lack of tennis-related activity on Williams' social media was a concern.

"What concerns me about Serena is through the years she's actually kept us occasionally informed with her workouts and playing tennis on her social media posts," Shriver told Tennis Now last month. "Maybe I missed something, but I haven't seen anything that's really giving away that she's back on the tennis court. By now, given it was a hamstring strain or slight tear or whatever happened at Wimbledon last year against Sasnovich, she should be back, so I'm really concerned there.

"Whereas I feel like Roger is giving us some evidence of his progression towards a comeback. I believe right now we're more likely to see Roger back."

Tennis Channel and ESPN analyst Pam Shriver also said she believed Serena was more likely to play a Grand Slam than Federer.

"But if you were to say who would we be more likely to see back in a Grand Slam singles, I might pivot to Serena," Shriver told Tennis Now. "I don't know about this year, but I think Roger is going to find three out of five sets really a challenge.

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Federer confirmed his comeback in September at Laver Cup in London followed by an appearance in his hometown tournament in Basel the last week of October. Serena Williams and Federer are friends and have each named each other as the GOAT in past interviews.

In a 2018 interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine, Federer cited Serena as GOAT.

“It’s been fascinating to watch,” he told the magazine of Serena’s career. “She had a totally different upbringing — I came up through Switzerland with the federation, she did it with her dad and her sister. It’s an amazing story unto itself — and then she became one of the greatest, if not the greatest tennis player of all time.”

When asked to clarify if he was selecting Serena as the greatest female player of all time, Federer reiterated he regards Serena as the greatest “overall” player of all time.

 

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