After a year’s break, Serena Williams continues her exceptional career after all. In Wimbledon, the 40-year-old is chasing the Grand Slam record. The first appearance will take place beforehand.

A year after her heartbreaking farewell to a long break, Serena Williams makes a surprise return to the tennis tour at Wimbledon. In four short sets, the long-time world number one announced that she would continue her exceptional career and with it the chase for the Grand Slam title record. “SW and SW19 it’s a date 2022 see you there. Let’s go,” the 23-time Grand Slam tournament winner wrote on social media on Tuesday. The 40-year-old American will receive a wildcard for the grass-court classic, the organisers announced a little later.

With wild card: Williams faces tough task in round one

SW19 stands for the London borough of Wimbledon, where the seven-time winner played her last match. In the first set of the first round, Williams had to retire injured against Alexandra Sasnovich from Belarus and left the court with her racket raised in her right hand, her left on her heart and tears in her eyes. Since then, she has been in the public eye mainly as the mother of her daughter Olympia and as a businesswoman.

Williams also published the picture of two legs in tennis shoes on grass. She was recently missing from the entry list for Wimbledon, but can enter the tournament, which begins on 27 June, with a wild card. However, she will face a difficult opponent right from the start. Williams is currently ranked 1208 in the world.

Doubles in Eastbourne to prepare

In the week before Wimbledon, Williams will play doubles with Tunisian Ons Jabeur at the WTA tournament in Eastbourne to prepare for Wimbledon. She is delighted to be “back on grass”, Williams said in a statement released by the organisers. “A surface that has been so good to me throughout my career.”

With another Grand Slam title, Serena Williams would set Australian Margaret Court’s record. At Wimbledon, the American is likely to have the best chance of securing her 24th triumph at one of the four major tournaments. Since her last Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2017 and the subsequent baby break due to the birth of her daughter, Williams has reached the final four times, but has always been defeated. In 2018, Angelique Kerber had prevailed over Williams in the final.

Due to her long absence from the professional tour, there had recently been speculation about a possible retirement. These were fuelled when her long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced in April that she would be working with Romanian Simona Halep. Williams has now put an end to these speculations about a career end for the time being.