Serena Williams says she ‘absolutely’ had doubts about whether or not she’d ever return to tennis during the last year.
Williams has not played a singles match since limping out of Wimbledon 12 months ago. However, she was back on a WTA tennis court for the first time in 357 days this week as she partnered Ons Jabeur in the doubles at Eastbourne.
It is just a warm-up for the main event of Wimbledon next week, where Serena has a wild card for the singles.
However, she has admitted that there have been plenty of times during her absence when she wondered if she was done with tennis.
“Did I ever doubt I would return? Absolutely, for sure,” she admitted. “I would be dishonest if I said it wasn’t and now my body feels great.
“I definitely felt good out there and I was talking with Ons in the first set saying ‘we’re not playing bad’ because they were just playing really good in that first set.
“But obviously winning, getting more balls and playing a little bit more made us feel a lot better. It definitely felt reassuring.
“It has been clicking in practise and now it seems like it is clicking. It is doubles but it still means a lot to both of us to be in it.”
After returning injured at Wimbledon last year Serena Williams was then unable to play the US Open either, and that could have easily proven to the final straw for her.
She says the lure of Wimbledon was always in the back of her mind, though.
“You know what I am literally taking it one day at a time” she said. “I really took my time with my hamstring injury so I am not making a ton of decisions after this.
“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.”
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