Image Source: Eurosport
Serena Williams returned to the tennis court on Tuesday, having not played in a competitive match in almost a year. Just weeks after, many had assumed the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion would never again play.
The indicators pointed to one of the greatest players of all time retiring quietly and without the proper send-off. Instead, Williams took center stage at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park, which often serves as the center of the sedate Sussex beach town’s cultural scene and is home to several theaters.
In the Eastbourne doubles tournament, the 40-year-old American paired up with Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who is now ranked third in the WTA singles world rankings, and the two players won their opening match.
Williams hopes to compete at Wimbledon, where she has won seven of her major championships, in the singles event the following week.
Following the game, she admitted that she “definitely” had moments of uncertainty about continuing to play.
She answered, “You know what, I’m actually taking it one day at a time.” A sentiment that may have been responsible for the rumor that the former World No. 1 had discreetly retired.
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Williams had not competed for nine months when her longtime coach Patrick Mouratoglou began working with Simona Halep, the former world number one. She has just reached her 41st birthday. There was not much proof that she had even been practicing.
Recalling her remarks from the 2021 Australian Open, where she said: “If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone,” added more gasoline to the rumors regarding the American’s future.
Later on that day, she casually brought up her preparation for Wimbledon in an Instagram story with NFL star Aaron Rodgers.
But even so, she announced on Instagram that she was going to play in Britain with a photo of her feet on the grass and the comment, “I’m going to Britain to play.” “SW19 at SW. On a date.” – was not thought to be a given.
Spanish world number four Paula Badosa stated, “I think it surprised everyone.
Just what has Serena Williams been up to?
“I’m Olympia’s mother,” says her Instagram bio, which is all there is.
Williams spends a lot of her time these days being a devoted mother, but she has also been working hard on her non-tennis business interests.
She started a clothes line called “Serena” earlier this year and has a jewelry line in her fashion portfolio. Williams is one of several well-known investors of Angel City FC, a women’s soccer team in the United States that also counts Billie Jean King, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer Garner among its investors.
She raised $111 million earlier this year to start a venture capital fund called Serena Ventures, which invests in business people from various backgrounds.
When asked if she planned on continuing to play next season, she responded: “I have no idea, so I am unable to respond. But I adore playing tennis, or else I wouldn’t be here, right?” But I really enjoy my work off the court and what I’ve created with Serena Ventures; it’s fascinating. So thus, it is a lot.”