We dropped her off on June 29, 2021 at Wimbledon Central. The legend had just put a knee on the ground. Serena Williams had to leave the pitch due to a knee injury. In came Aliaksandra Sasnovich. But she is back. Next week, the player with 23 Grand Slam titles – only Margaret Court does best with 24 – will compete again in Eastbourne, where she will compete in doubles with Ons Jabeur. Without really seeing it coming, Venus’ little sister seemed so far away from the courts.
Since her untimely departure from the London Grand Slam, the American has become an advisor to Sorare’s board – the NFT-based start-up – has written a children’s book – “The Adventures of Qai Qai “- and has been recognized as a” fashion icon “by the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The sandwich woman has promoted her own brand of clothing and jewelry, Gatorade drinks, the Nintendo Switch, Just Egg vegetable eggs (made with mung beans, you read that right) and, of course, the movie. The Williams method, which covers the family’s success story. She also shot an ad for the Direct TV platform where, disguised as Wonder Woman, she fights panic-throwing bullet launchers. Judge instead.
And tennis in all this? The 40-year-old was quite discreet after August 25, when she announced that she would skip the U.S. Open to recover from a hamstring fracture. “See you soon,” he concluded. Time is relative, but still.
“He can’t run today,” coach Patrick Mouratoglou told Tennis Majors. “If you run in pain, it means there’s a real danger of the injury getting worse. It’s not that she’s not ready, it’s that if she plays, she risks her future. “
He is still the Frenchman, now with Simona Halep, who recently reported a conversation with the champion in early April: “I went to ask him what he was going to do. It was not very clear to him. I asked him if he wanted to go to Roland Garros. She told me she didn’t know. There were six weeks left before the tournament. “A vagueness that visibly dissipated with the arrival of the season on the grass. An area where he won seven Majors, as well as the Olympic title in 2012.
“The icing on the cake”
Ons Jabeur, with whom Williams will compete again, did not hide his excitement: “I was delighted when I found out that I was going to play with Serena. It is a privilege. Shared by Eastbourne tournament director Gavin Fletcher: “This year’s program is absolutely exceptional, and Serena’s presence will be the icing on the cake. »
And if the double will be much more visible than usual in Devonshire Park, everyone is already thinking about Wimbledon. By falling in the 1208th ranking, the American could not claim the main picture for her ranking … but Serena is still Serena, and the organizers granted her a wild card.
How will it be? That is the big question. Serena has been out for long periods of time before, returning each time with a bang. After his victory in Melbourne on 28 January 2017, he spent 13 months without a tournament due to a knee injury and then pregnancy. In March 2018 he reached the Wimb ‘final in July and the US Open in September. Yes, but now time is running out and the champion is approaching 41 years old.
“I’m sure he’ll be back in great shape, I don’t think he’ll try to come to Wimbledon in half form. He’s had to work hard over the last few weeks,” said Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, currently 59th in the world. “For women’s sports. I can’t wait to see her again. I just hope I don’t meet her in the first round. Maybe Serena hasn’t played in a year, but she’s still scared. And unfortunately for Petkovic. , fear does not avoid danger.