Serena Williams’ Wimbledon tune-up ends after Ons Jabeur injury

Serena Williams’ tennis comeback at the Eastbourne International tournament came to a screeching halt on Thursday after her doubles partner, Ons Jabeur, departed the tournament with a right knee injury.

The dominant tandem, who had wowed the crowd throughout the tourney with their impressive play, were set to face off against Magda Linette and Aleksandra Krunic in the semifinals. 

Eastbourne marks Williams’ first time back on the court in nearly a year. The 40-year-old last played in the first round at Wimbledon in 2021, during which she suffered a hamstring injury and was forced to withdraw. She later pulled out of the US Open and Australian Open for health reasons, and notably passed on playing in the French Open.

Williams joined forces with Jabeur – who’s ranked No. 3 in the WTA – to get a taste of the competition she’d gone without for considerable time. Following strong performances in the first two rounds of Eastbourne, she now turns her attention to Wimbledon and a shot at capturing her 24th singles Grand Slam title.

Williams joined forces with Jabeur – who’s ranked no. 3 in the WTA – to get a taste of the competition she’d gone without for considerable time.
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Williams and Jabeur were rusty in their first match of the tournament versus Sara Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzkova, but ultimately won the contest 2-6, 6-3 and 13-11. Facing a more formidable foes in doubles specialists Shuko Aoyama and Hao-Ching Chan in the second round, Williams returned to her dominant self, saving break points with three consecutive aces on the way to a 6-2, 6-4 win.

“I feel good, as good as one can feel after having such a long time off,” Williams said following her strong performance. “It was actually good match play and match practice, which is exactly what I needed and what I wanted to do coming here, so I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Eastbourne marks Williams’ first time back on the court in nearly a year.
Eastbourne marks Williams’ first time back on the court in nearly a year.
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With the rust now knocked off, Williams enters play in Wimbledon as an unranked wildcard, the first time she’s unseeded since her debut in 1998. However, her play at Eastbourne has put competitors on notice, as the 40-year-old mother of one proved she’s still got it.