Serena Williams set for comeback after being given Wimbledon wildcard

The 23-time Grand Glam singles champion will play doubles with Tunisia's Ons Jabeur at Eastbourne a week before London tournament

Serena Williams has won seven Wimbledon singles titles. PA
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Former world No 1 Serena Williams is set to make her long awaited comeback at Wimbledon after being given a wildcard entry to the London Grand Slam.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, who suffered a leg injury during her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the All England Club 12 months ago, has won seven Wimbledon singles titles but is currently ranked a lowly 1,208.

And the 40-year-old's name did not appear on the women's singles entry list released by the grass-court tournament earlier in June.

But on Tuesday, Williams – who has also won the doubles title with elder sister Venus six times – posted on Instagram: “SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022 See you there.” The official announcement came hours later.

She will make her return to tennis playing doubles at Eastbourne alongside Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in the week before Wimbledon.

"I am excited to return to Eastbourne and be back on the grass – a surface that has been so good to me throughout my career," Williams said.

"Eastbourne has a unique charm that you don't see anywhere else on tour."

Tennis has been conspicuous by its absence in most of Williams’ Instagram posts over the last year, with the focus on her business ventures and life as a mother to four-year-old daughter Olympia.

Suspicions that she had effectively retired grew when her long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou revealed in April that he had taken on a new role with Simona Halep.

Wimbledon is considered Williams’ best chance of claiming a 24th Slam singles crown to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record.

She has twice reached the final since returning from maternity leave in 2018, losing to Angelique Kerber that summer and Halep the following year.

Wimbledon begins on 27 June where current world No 1 Iga Swiatek will be looking to continue her remarkable winning streak, which now spans six tournaments and 35 matches – the joint-longest unbeaten run in women’s tennis, tied with Venus Williams.

Updated: June 14, 2022, 3:00 PM