Former World No. 1 Serena Williams will finally return to Grand Slam action as she confirms her participation at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships looking for her 8th title at the All-England Club and her record-tying 24th career Grand Slam title. Serena will play doubles first at the 2022 Eastbourne International before returning to singles action at the major. However, her return has the entire tennis fraternity scared despite her long absence and top-ranked players also hope they avoid the current World No. 1204.
“I grew up watching Serena and Venus because my grandma is a tennis freak. I just feel like it’s very good for tennis that she is back and I think that it brought a little bit more suspense. I’m sure that everyone wants to avoid her, especially if she wins a few matches. She will start feeling good about her game and she is Serena Williams. She is the greatest female athlete of all time,” said World No. 5 Maria Sakkari speaking at the media day in Eastbourne.
“This is her advantage”: Karolina Pliskova on Serena Williams’ return
World No. 4 Paula Badosa also shared her excitement to share the field with the American but at the same time did not hesitate from saying that she wished she avoids Serena during her run at the Championships starting next week. The world will get to see Serena prior to the Wimbledon and she will be followed closely because, despite her long absence, one can’t take away the talent and skills that she possesses.
“I think it surprised everyone. But it’s very good to have her back and it really amazed me how she had all this hunger for the game and still has it. I think it is a great inspiration. I hope she can be back for much more time because I think she does very good for tennis. Of course, I don’t want to play against her. I hope the draw goes for another player, because of course no one wants to play against Serena and less on grass. So let’s pray for that,” said Badosa.
Last year’s runner-up Karolina Pliskova was however a little sceptical about Serena’s return as she is 40 years old and hasn’t played in a year. “It’s a long time not to play. She’s not the youngest, and the body takes time to get back in the shape of playing matches and tournaments. It’s still very different to just practising. But of course, she’s an amazing player and she has achieved so much. I think a number of players will be super scared to play her. This is her advantage, but let’s see her level,” said Pliskova.
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