Serena Williams has returned to action almost a year after playing her last match on June 29, 2021, when she withdrew through injury in the first round of Wimbledon.
This Tuesday, June 21, she took to the court alongside Ons Jabeur in the first round of the women’s doubles at Eastbourne. After saving a match ball in the tie-break, Williams and Jabeur beat Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo 2-6, 6-3 (13-11).
“Did I ever doubt I would return? Absolutely, for sure,” Williams told ABC News.
“I would be dishonest if I said it wasn’t and now my body feels great.
“I definitely felt good out there and I was talking with Ons in the first set saying ‘we’re not playing bad’ because they were just playing really good in that first set.
“But obviously winning, getting more balls and playing a little bit more made us feel a lot better. It definitely felt reassuring. It has been clicking in practise and now it seems like it is clicking. It is doubles but it still means a lot to both of us to be in it.”
Meanwhile, Jabeur admitted that she went through some nervous moments while playing alongside a world-class tennis player such as 23-Grand Slam winner Williams.
“I was a little bit nervous before, playing with such a legend, but she made me really good on the court, and even when I made mistakes, she’d keep encouraging me,” Jabeur noted.
Following their win, Serena and Ons will face face Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching in the second round of the tournament on Wednesday.