Returning to doubles competition with Tunisian player Ons Jabeur, Serena Williams bagged a precious victory in Eastbourne on Tuesday.
Serena Williams returned to competition in doubles almost a year after her withdrawal from Wimbledon on Tuesday at the Eastbourne grass tournament, where she qualified for the second round.
«Oh my God, it was so much fun playing with Ons, and it was great!The 40-year-old American said with a big smile after winning alongside Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur over Czech Marie Bouzkova and Spain’s Sara Sorribes 2-6, 6-3 , 11/13.
Falling to 1204th in the world, the player with 23 Grand Slam singles titles announced her return on social networks last week.
The doubles at Eastbourne should allow her to regain some rhythm before lining up in singles next week at Wimbledon, where she has been crowned seven times, thanks to a wild card.
For her return, the youngest of the Williams has requested the brand new world N.3, since her success in Berlin. “It’s such an honor, I couldn’t believe it! I was a little nervous at first to play with such a legend but he made me feel so good on the court, even when I made mistakes“said the Tunisian after the match.
The first set logically looked like an extension of the warm-up for the new pair. Each of the two players gave up their commitment once, during this first act quickly lost (6-2).
Serena, the driving force
«After the first set we just tried to hang on (…) I ended up finding the flame a little and I needed it. But they played so well in the first set!exclaimed Williams, visibly relieved.
If she is not quite sharp yet and sometimes lacks speed in her movements, Williams has lost none of her intensity and power.
Over the course of the match, the agreement with Jabeur was refined and Serena Williams found her bearings, allowing her to unleash some magnificent shots such as this cross backhand passing which offered a second set ball at 5-3, followed by a long, angry growl.
By finishing the round with an ace in the middle, she gave the public a super twisted tie-break in which she was once again the driving force of her team.
Williams and Jabeur first missed two match points then dismissed one of their opponents before concluding in the third in 1h 24 minutes.
In the quarter-finals, they will face the pair made up of the Japanese Shuko Aoyama, 10th in the world in doubles, and the Taiwanese Ho-Ching Chan, 49th.