Serena Williams will make her long-awaited return to the game after a one-year absence by being named a wild card for the Wimbledon singles draw.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, she announced her comeback by including a photo of her coaches and ankle braces on the grass with her tennis bag in the background. Williams captioned the photo: “SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022, see you there.”
The All England Club later confirmed Williams’ return to singles competition by announcing her as a wildcard recipient. The wildcards were supposed to be announced on Wednesday and today, but the uproar over the possibility of Williams led to the revelations earlier. Wimbledon begins on June 27.
On her site, Williams has also flagged the Eastbourne International, the WTA tournament ahead of Wimbledon, which begins next week. She will take her first steps back to the match court when she competes in the doubles draw with Tunisian Anas Jaber, ranked fourth in the world in singles.
“I’m excited to be back at Rothesay International Eastbourne in England and back on the turf. – a surface that has been so good to me throughout my career,” Williams said in a statement: “Eastbourne has a unique charm that you can’t see anywhere else on the Tour, and I’m looking forward to playing against The fans again.”
Williams has not featured since a first-round match at Wimbledon against Alexandra Sasnovich last year, when she slipped on wet grass and had to retire early in the first set with a left leg injury. Meanwhile, its ranking has dropped to 1.208.
Since she had not applied for a protected classification prior to Wimbledon, she did not appear on the entry list and required a wildcard to enter the event. With 23 Grand Slam titles, Williams holds the record for a Grand Slam of the Open Era. At Wimbledon, she won seven singles titles and six women’s doubles titles alongside her sister Venus as well as the mixed doubles title in 1998.
After winning her 23rd Grand Slam title while carrying daughter Olympia in Australia in 2017, Williams returned from maternity leave in 2018. And while she has reached Grand Slam finals since then, including Wimbledon in 2018 and 2019, she hasn’t yet. not able to. To win a group in those finals. She turns 41 on September 26.
Despite not competing over the past year, Williams has remained in the public eye. She was a producer with her sisters, Venus and Isha, for the Oscar-nominated King Richard.
With Williams failing to feature in the entry lists all season, there was a lot of uncertainty over whether she would return to the sport. Such a discussion was underlined by long-time Williams coach Patrick Muratoglou, who announced in April that he would not be working with Williams after joining former world number one Simona Halep. Williams will instead be accompanied by Eric Hechtman, who usually coaches Venus.
The status of Venus Williams remains uncertain. The elder Williams, a five-times Wimbledon champion with seven major singles titles, has not competed since August.