Serena Williams steps up her preparation for Wimbledon as she takes to Centre Court to practise ahead of Monday’s opener against world No 113 Harmony Tan – 12 months on from last year’s injury heartache
- Serena Williams stepped up her preparation as she practiced on Centre Court
- The 40-year-old has not played a singles match since injuring her leg a year ago
- Williams will make her comeback when she takes on Harmony Tan on Monday
Serena Williams stepped up her preparation for Wimbledon as she practiced on Centre Court on Friday afternoon.
The 40-year-old returned to tennis after one year out at the Eastbourne International this week but was forced to pull out due to an injury to doubles partner Ons Jabeur.
Williams has now taken advantage of Wimbledon’s new policy of allowing players to practice on Centre Court and No.1 Court before the tournament begins next week.
Serena Williams stepped up her preparation for Wimbledon as she practiced on Centre Court
The 40-year-old was seen preparing with coach Eric Hechtman on Friday afternoon
Williams will return to Wimbledon on Monday, a year on from suffering a long-term leg injury
Accompanied by coach Eric Hechtman and hitting partner Jarmere Jenkins, Williams returned to the site where she last made an appearance 12 months ago, when she limped off due to a leg injury.
She followed world No.1 Iga Swiatej into the main stadium and went through 45 mins of training – which included groundstrokes, overheads and volleys.
The American will begin her Wimbledon comeback by facing 113th ranked Harmony Tan on Monday.
Earlier this week, Williams admitted she feared she would not play again. She said: ‘Did I ever doubt I would return? Absolutely, for sure. I would be dishonest if I said it wasn’t and now my body feels great.’
Quizzed on her future, Williams added: ‘You know what I am literally taking it one day at a time. I really took my time with my hamstring injury so I am not making a ton of decisions after this.
Williams took advantage of Wimbledon’s new policy of allowing players to practice on Centre Court
She went through 45 mins of training, which included groundstrokes, overheads and volleys
Williams will seek a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam when she returns to Wimbledon by facing Harmony tan on Monday
‘I did a lot of non-training in the beginning obviously and after I couldn’t play New York I went cold turkey of not working out.
‘It felt good but I always try to stay semi-fit because you never know when you are going to play Wimbledon.
‘I love tennis and I love playing otherwise I wouldn’t be here but I also love what I do off the court.’
Due to her long-term absence, Williams is now ranked outside of the WTA’s top 1200 players.
Seven of her 23 Grand Slams have come in Wimbledon and Williams will be in the hunt for a record-braking 24th come Monday’s opener.