Serena Williams Says SW19 Return Is Motivated By Tearful 2021 Exit

"I didn't retire. I just needed to heal physically, mentally. I had no plans, to be honest. I just didn't know when I would come back. I didn't know how I would come back. Obviously Wimbledon is such a great place to be, and it just kind of worked out."

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Serena Williams Says SW19 Return Is Motivated By Tearful 2021 Exit - SportRazzi
Serena Williams Says SW19 Return Is Motivated By Tearful 2021 Exit.

Serena Williams says not wanting last year’s tearful injury retirement to be her final Wimbledon memory was a big motivator for her return.

Williams, a seven-time champion, will make her singles comeback at the Grand Slam event, which begins on Monday. The 40-year-old American tore her hamstring almost a year ago when she slipped during a first-round match.

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“It was a lot of motivation, to be honest,” said Williams, who will play France’s Harmony Tan on Tuesday.

Asked about her expectations at Wimbledon, the world number 1,204 said: “I have high goals, but also I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Selena Williams returned to the WTA Tour earlier this week in Eastbourne, where she competed in the doubles with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

She hasn’t played singles since waving a tearful farewell to Centre Court last year after slipping in a match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

“It was always something since the match ended that was always on my mind. So it was a tremendous amount of motivation for that. You never want any match to end like that. It’s really unfortunate. But it was definitely something that’s always been on the top of my mind,” she said.

Serena Williams is one major title short of Margaret Court’s Australian record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. Until she announced her intention to play at Wimbledon a few weeks ago, many wondered if one of the greatest players of all time had quietly retired.

Following her comeback in Eastbourne, Williams stated that it would be “dishonest” to say she did not have doubts about returning to top-level tennis.

“I didn’t retire. I just needed to heal physically, mentally. I had no plans, to be honest. I just didn’t know when I would come back. I didn’t know how I would come back. Obviously Wimbledon is such a great place to be, and it just kind of worked out,” she said on Saturday.

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Williams was among the players who hit on Centre Court this week, following the All England Club’s decision to allow the show court to be used for practice sessions. She described Friday’s practice with her team as a chance to mentally move on from last year’s experience.

“It was good for me to get that out of my system because the last moment I had on Centre Court was probably not my best moment,” she said.

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