At 40, the American legend is going to make a new comeback in London.
No Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year, but living legend Serena Williams will set foot on the Church Road courts from Monday or Tuesday for her… twentieth appearance. It was through an Instagram post that she announced her return in mid-June. “SW (for Serena Williams, Ed) and SW 19 (the postcode of Wimbledon). It’s a date ! See you there, ”wrote, under a photo of her tennis shoes on the lawn, the former world number one. The 40-year-old champion logically received an invitation from the organizers. A year after her last match concluded with a sad abandonment, due to a thigh injury, in the first round of Wimbledon against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich (100th in the world) The American is back in business in her favorite English garden. Retirement will wait a bit longer, for the one who turns 41 in September and who has been badly affected by injuries in recent years, particularly to the Achilles tendon, shoulder, hamstrings and lower leg. ‘last summer.
Fallen to 1208th place in the world, the woman with 23 Grand Slam titles in singles, 16 in doubles and four Olympic gold medals (including singles in 2012) does not come to make up the numbers in London where she won seven times between 2002 and 2016. Finalist in the 2018 and 2019 editions, it seems unlikely however that she will win the 24 Grand Slam crowns from Margaret Court, who has not won a Grand Slam tournament since the Australian Open 2017.
To find the rhythm of the competition a little, the youngest of the Williams made her return to competition, in doubles, on the grass of Eastbourne, where she managed to win two matches, well accompanied it is true by the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, new world number 3 and recently crowned in Berlin. The latter “dropped” her by forfeiting before the semi-final due to a painful knee. Serena, she seems in good shape even if of course she lacked speed in her movements during her two resumption matches but the power is still there. The thirst for victory too.
Wimbledon now fully respecting the logic of the ATP and WTA rankings, as for the other Grand Slam tournaments, the Californian will not benefit from a seeded status at Church Road. And there are many who want to avoid the American on their way. Starting with world number 4 Paula Badosa who said: “Of course I don’t want to play against her. I hope the draw will go to another player, because nobody wants to play against Serena and even less on grass”. World number 7 Karolina Pliskova is more skeptical: “I think it will be difficult, even super difficult for her, no matter what kind of player she is. Anyone needs time. “. Last spring, the interested party confided to the American channel CNN: “I have not finished. I haven’t done everything, otherwise I would have done it already (retired). It’s that simple. I don’t know… Maybe I should have already made it (to 24 Grand Slam singles titles). I had so many opportunities. But I’m not giving up.”