Serena Williams was paired with the Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the victory against the Spanish Sara Sorribes Tormo and the Czech Marie Bouzkova for the first round of the doubles event torneo Eastbourne. Williams and Jabeur recovered after losing the first set 6-2, they dominated 6-3 in the second and finally won 13-11 in the tiebreak, converting his third match point.
With the song “What A Feeling” blaring from the speakers in Devonshire Park, Serena Williams entered center court and received a standing ovation on his feet for his first competitive tennis match in nearly a year.
Some 90 minutes later, the spectators were on their feet again to celebrate the triumph of the winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, in this tournament on the south coast of England that serves as a pre-Wimbledon blank.
“We had some problems,” the 40-year-old tennis player said. “I needed it. It was good“.
The victory ensures that Williams will have one more match before her appearance at Wimbledon, where she received an invitation from the organizers to compete in the singles draw. Activity at the All England Club starts on Monday.
Williams’ last tournament was precisely in the Grand Slam that is played on a grass surface. In 2021, Williams was playing a first-round match when his right leg gave out and he had to retire.
No playing since then the American began the week as number 1,204 of singles and was not among the seeds for Wimbledon.
Few will want to face her when the draw is held on Friday.
“Ons was fun to play with,” Williams admitted in the on-court interview. “It was great. We had a lot of fun and our rivals played amazingly“.