Serena Williams will return to Grand Slam tennis for the first time in a year at Wimbledon later this month after being given a single wildcard entry by the All England Club on Tuesday.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, who did not play in his first round match at Wimbledon 12 months ago due to injury, has dropped to 1,208 in the world rankings.
Earlier Tuesday, Williams indicated he would be at Wimbledon, starting June 27, when he posted a picture of his white coaches on the grass on Instagram with the caption: “SW and SW19. This is a date. 2022, see you there. “
The 40-year-old will return to competitive tennis at Eastbourne International next week, where she has been given a doubles wildcard with Tunisia’s Ons Zabour.
“I’m excited to be back at Rothschild International Eastbourne in England and back on the grass – a surface that has been great for me throughout my career,” said Williams.
“Eastbourne has a unique attraction that you won’t see anywhere else on the tour and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.”
Williams won his seven Wimbledon singles titles in 2016 but reached the final in 2018 and 2019 after giving birth to a child.
He left last year in tears after retiring in the first set against Alexandra Sasnovich due to a foot injury, and doubts were growing about whether he would return to the game.
His longtime coach, Patrick Muratoglo, revealed in April that he had taken on a new role with Simona Halep.
Wimbledon is widely regarded as Williams’ best chance to claim the 24th Grand Slam singles crown, equal to Margaret Court’s all-time record.
His last Grand Slam title came at the 2017 Australian Open.
Wimbledon board member Tim Heinman, who has reached four semifinals in the tournament, said: “It’s a good choice for women.
“Serena actually requested (a wild card) a few weeks ago and she is going to play in Eastbourne. Hopefully he will get a good chance to prepare in grass court.
The British players dominated the rest of the wild card list, with players including Katie Bolter and Liam Brody placed in the single main draw.
They will be joined by three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Warinka, who has returned from a long-term foot injury this season, and Dutchman Tim van Rizthoven, who defeated Daniel Medvedev in the final of the Se’Hertogenbosch grass court tournament on Sunday.
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