Serena Williams played a WTA match for the first time in almost a year and, as she’s done so many times before, she won.
Williams entered the doubles draw at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne, Great Britain, and paired with Ons Jabeur of Tunisia to defeat Marie Bouzkova of Czechia and Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 2-6, 6-3, (13-11) on Tuesday.
“It was so fun to play with Ons,” Williams said in her on-court interview. “It was great, we had a lot of fun and our opponents played amazing. We were just trying to stay in there after the first set.”
Jabeur said she was nervous to play with “such a legend.”
“But she made me really good on the court, and even when I made mistakes, she’d keep encouraging me,” Jabeur said.
Williams is tuning up for Wimbledon, which begins Monday. She had not played a competitive match since she was injured during her first-round match in last year’s Wimbledon singles draw.
Williams, 40, has slipped to the No. 1,204 world ranking during her time away. She entered the Wimbledon draw as a wild card.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion has won 23 career Grand Slams and is still searching for her 24th to tie Margaret Court for most all time.
–Field Level Media