The women’s singles competition at this year’s Wimbledon Championships just got a lot more interesting.
Per CNN, the G.O.A.T. Serena Williams has received a wild card entry into the Grand Slam tournament. The tennis superstar has not competed on the WTA tour since injuring herself last June in the first round of last year’s Championships. She confirmed the announcement on Instagram, writing, “SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022 See you there.” SW19 is the postcode of the Southwest London area where Wimbledon takes place, and the Championships 2022 at Wimbledon runs June 27-July 10.
Serena has been on a quest to beat Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles. Unfortunately, injuries and aging have kept her from getting that elusive No. 24. In her absence, players like Ash Barty, Coco Gauff and Iga Świątek have taken over the tour. In fact, Świątek recently broke Serena’s record for the most consecutive wins. With her French Open Championship, Świątek’s streak currently stands at 35.
The King Richard executive producer is set to make her official return to competitive tennis in Eastbourne, England at the LTA’s Rothesay International tournament, taking place June 18-25. Serena will play doubles with world No. 4 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. The official LTA Twitter account celebrated the news posting, “The Queen of tennis is coming to Eastbourne.”
As a Wimbledon wild card entrant, Serena is considered an unseeded player, meaning she’ll likely face one of the top seeds in the first round. If she’s able to get past that match, her road through the tournament will only get more challenging, as she will be considered the underdog in most of her matches.
Serena will always be the G.O.A.T., but honestly, she’s just not in a place right now where she can compete against younger players who are on the tour full time, playing in tough matches every week. It’s also worth noting that the seven-time Wimbledon champion’s game isn’t the unpredictable force it once was. The influence of her and her sister Venus Williams has led to an influx of players who now mimic the duo’s blend of power and finesse. They quite literally changed the game.
The Championships 2022 at Wimbledon air June 27-July 10 on ESPN and Tennis Channel.