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Tennis

Will Serena Williams play at Wimbledon 2022?

Williams was just about to lose her ranking after a year without playing when she was invited by the Wimbledon tournament organizers.

Update:
Williams was just about to lose her ranking after a year without playing when she was invited by the Wimbledon tournament organizers.
ADRIAN DENNISAFP

On June 29, 2021, Serena Williams withdrew from the first round of her match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon after injuring her leg. Several people assumed Serena had retired since then, though she never said as much. Nearly 41 years old, Serena posted a training video six weeks ago, sparking rumors about her comeback. Now, the second-most successful tennis player in history is a few days away from returning to a Grand Slam event, playing the next edition of Wimbledon after being awarded a wild card.

Wimbledon 2022 draw out

Williams will face Harmony Tan in the first round in her return to singles competition, and will play against either 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo or US qualifier Christina McHale should she reach the second round. She will then have a possible third-round matchup against 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova.

Tennis fans have been teased about the seven-time champion’s return to Wimbledon the past few months. In an Instagram post earlier in June, Williams’ tennis shoes were shown on the grass, along with a revealing caption: “SW and AW19. It’s a date. 2022. See you there. Let’s go.” Given the wave of comments caused by this clear sign of return, just a few hours later, the Wimbledon organization dispelled all doubts. In a tweet, the London Grand Slam confirmed that Serena would be one of the wild card guests to play in the tournament.

“The stage awaits. Our seven-time champion, Serena Williams, will return to Wimbledon as a wild card this summer for her 21st appearance,” the statement read. Although, really, Serena’s first contact with an official tournament was in Eastbourne, where a WTA 500 grass-court tournament was played this month. Williams also received an invitation to this event, and played doubles together with Tunisian Ons Jabeur, ending almost a year of inactivity.

The pair reached the semifinal against Aleksandra Krunic and Magda Linette but had to withdraw due to Jabeur’s right knee injury.

As she hadn’t played in nearly 365 days, Serena was on the verge of losing her ranking. Right now, she is number 1,208 in the WTA ranking with only 10 points to her credit. Given this, it was necessary for the younger Williams to receive an invitation from the organization since, due to her rank she did not have the right to be in the final or previous draw. Only Margaret Court has more Grand Slams than Serena, with 24. Since her victory at the Australian Open in 2017, Williams has suffered consecutive losses in major tournament finals (two of those at Wimbledon). Although it seems difficult for her to win another, her return to Wimbledon is highly anticipated and fans will have a new opportunity to see the queen of tennis play in a Grand Slam tournament again.

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