‘It surprised everyone’: Players react to Serena Williams’ upcoming return

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Serena Williams is set to return to the Hologic WTA Tour this week at the Rothesay International Eastbourne, where she will play doubles alongside Ons Jabeur. The tournament will be Williams’ first in nearly 12 months.


Her last match came at Wimbledon nearly a year ago, where she was forced to retire with an injury in the first round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.


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“I think it surprised everyone,” top seed Paula Badosa said at Media Day in Eastbourne. “But it’s very good to have her back and it really amazed me how she had all this hunger for the game and still has it. I think it is a great inspiration. I hope she can be back for much more time, because I think she does very good for tennis.”



In addition to playing doubles in Eastbourne, Williams also has taken a singles wild card into Wimbledon, which begins next week. The Wimbledon draw will be conducted Friday. With unseeded Williams in the mix, the players will be keeping a close eye on who she draws in the first round.



“I hope she [draws] Iga,” Jabeur told reporters at Media Day in Eastbourne. “At least someone should stop Iga a little bit.”



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