Serena Williams trains with Frances Tiafoe in Eastbourne

Serena Williams will enter her first tournament in almost a year next week in Eastbourne, signing for the doubles draw alongside Ons Jabeur. Serena will use Eastbourne to prepare for the season’s third Major at Wimbledon, hoping for a better run than a year ago when she retired in the opening round. Williams trained in Eastbourne on Sunday with her good friend Frances Tiafoe, shaping her game ahead of her long-awaited return. Serena will play her 20th Wimbledon, seeking the eighth title and an elusive 24th singles Major.

Williams skipped Wimbledon in 1999, 2006 and 2017, and it was almost inevitable that we would not see her at the All England Club in a couple of weeks. The American surprised everyone and traveled to England to compete at one of her favorite tournaments. Serena has not played for a year due to an injury and will drop out of the WTA rankings for the first time since October 1997 despite her Wimbledon result. Williams left Wimbledon in tears a year ago following a retirement against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the opening round. Now, she is ready to give it another shot in her quest for the 24th Major. 

Serena Williams will compete in Eastbourne next week.

Williams established herself as the top-10 player in 2000 and 2001 and conquered the WTA throne in 2002. Serena has remained competitive for over two decades, winning 23 Major titles and moving one behind Margaret Court’s record. After only six events on her tally and no Major finals, Serena finished the 2021 season ranked outside the top-40 for the first time since 2006. The American veteran struggled with injuries and terminated the season after tearing her hamstring in the Wimbledon first round. Serena decided to call it a year, and she is finally back on the court again. Williams claimed the 23rd Major crown at the Australian Open 2017 after beating her sister Venus in the final.

The great American took a break from tennis to give birth to a child later that year and returned in the spring of 2018. Highly motivated to get back where she belongs, Williams reached four Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019, losing them against much younger opponents. 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. She scored five wins and advanced into the final four before losing to Naomi Osaka. Serena will try to raise her level after an extended break and show her best tennis at Wimbledon, where she has claimed seven titles from 11 finals.