The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club will be seeing a familiar face later this month as Serena Williams solidified a wild card spot to compete in the upcoming tournament. Williams posted a cryptic message on her Instagram Tuesday saying “SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022 See you there.”
The “SW” being her initials, Serena Williams, and the “SW19” being the postal code for the area where Wimbledon takes place. The post comes shortly after Wimbledon officials posted and tweeted their wild card invitations Tuesday morning.
Some speculated that the seven-time Wimbledon champ would skip this year after not appearing on the entry list that was released earlier this month. It’s been a year since Williams made a tennis appearance, the last one being the Wimbledon tournament. Williams was forced out of the tournament after badly landing on her ankle during her match against Aliakasandra Sasnovich.
Now after a year of resting and healing, Williams is eager to come back to the tennis court in hopes to win her eighth Wimbledon title. However, there are some challenges that she will encounter that could impact how she’ll progress throughout the tournament. For starters the ATP’s removal of ranking points as a result of Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian players.
Though Williams is not banned being that she’s a U.S. player she still takes a hit on earning any ranking points for this year’s tournament. If Williams played prior to the Wimbledon and ATP rule change, her ranking may not take as much as a hit as it will now.
Another challenge Williams could face is that she may not have Patrick Mouratoglou by her side as coach. In April of this year, Mouratoglou tweeted that he will now be coaching Romanian tennis star Simona Halep. This announcement comes after Williams stated she would not be playing in the first year’s grand slam, the Australian Open.
Williams also did not make an appearance at the French Open as well, causing Mouratoglou to miss out on coaching someone.
It’s unclear who Williams has been practicing with since the announcement of return but if all goes well the absence of Mouratoglou would have no bearing on her career. However, the big overarching challenge that Williams will face in this tournament is her health and performance.
Suffering from an ankle injury last year in Wimbledon and stating that she wasn’t at the same playing level in December, Williams is going to have to prove that she’s healthy to play. With having a year off and missing the first two major grand slams, Williams may be in a position to prove that on the court. If the necessary time off proves to be working in Williams’ favor, she could be able to pull off another title win despite the other challenges she could possibly face.