Serena Williams has been granted a wildcard into the Wimbledon singles draw, allowing her to return to tennis after a one-year hiatus.
Williams announced her return with an Instagram post on Tuesday that included a photo of her trainers and ankle braces on grass with her tennis bag in the backdrop. "SW and SW19," Williams wrote in the caption. It's a date, after all. "I'll see you in 2022."
Williams' comeback to individual competition was later verified by the All England Club, which announced her as a wildcard recipient. The wildcard announcements were intended to be released on Wednesday, but the excitement surrounding Williams' potential appearance prompted an earlier announcement. On the 27th of June, Wimbledon will begin.
Williams also tagged the Eastbourne international, a pre-Wimbledon WTA event that starts next week, in her post. When she participates in the doubles draw with Tunisia's Ons Jabeur, the world No. 4 in singles, she will take her first steps back onto the match court.
"I'm looking forward to returning to England's Rothesay International Eastbourne and playing on grass again - a surface that has been so kind to me throughout my career." "Eastbourne has a special charm that you won't find anyplace else on Tour, and I'm excited to play in front of the fans once more," Williams said in a statement.
Williams, 40, hasn't played since she stumbled on the damp grass in last year's Wimbledon first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and had to quit early in the first set due to a left leg injury. Meanwhile, her position has dropped to 1,208. She did not feature on the entry list since she did not apply for a protected ranking before Wimbledon, therefore she needed a wildcard to compete.