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Serena Williams plans to play at Wimbledon


Serena Williams last played competitively at Wimbledon last year, where she was injured in the first round.

By Christopher Clarey


Serena Williams, absent from competitive tennis for nearly a year, said Tuesday that she intends to return for Wimbledon, which begins June 27.


Williams, 40, has not played on tour since leaving a match in considerable pain with a right leg injury during the first round of Wimbledon last year against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.


Sasnovich, a Belarusian, is one of the players banned by Wimbledon this year because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been supported by Belarus. But Williams plans to return, and Wimbledon confirmed Tuesday that she was receiving a wild card to play singles.


If she does indeed take part, it will be her 21st appearance at Wimbledon, where she has won seven singles titles and seven doubles titles, six of the doubles titles with her older sister Venus Williams.


It is unclear whether Venus Williams, 41, is also planning on returning to the tour. She has not competed since August in Chicago.


Because of the inactivity, both sisters’ rankings have dropped far from their usual zones. Venus Williams is No. 571. Serena Williams is No. 1,208, which explains why she required a wild card to gain entry to Wimbledon.


In her brief Instagram post Tuesday announcing her plan to play Wimbledon, Serena Williams also tagged the Eastbourne International tournament. That suggests that she intends to return to competition for the WTA grass-court event in Eastbourne, England, which begins Saturday. That would give her at least some match play before Wimbledon.

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