Serena Williams returns to singles tennis at Wimbledon, Nadal Eyes Next Leg Of Slam: On Tuesday at Wimbledon, Serena Williams makes her long-awaited comeback to singles tennis as Rafael Nadal starts his bid to capture the third match of a possible calendar Grand Slam.
Iga Swiatek, the top seed for women, will play Croatian qualifier Jana Fett on Centre Court at 13:30 local time (12:30 GMT). Swiatek has won her last six titles.
But seven-time winner Williams, who takes on unseeded Frenchwoman Harmony Tan in her first singles encounter since having to withdraw from her first-round match last year due to injury, will be the centre of attention.
Williams, 40, last won a Wimbledon singles championship six years ago, although she returned to the championship match in 2018 and 2019.
With 23 Grand Slam singles victories, the American, who received a wildcard for this year’s competition, is an agonizing victory shy of Margaret Court’s record.
The likelihood that Williams, whose ranking has dropped to 1,204th in the world during her hiatus, will return to the sport has been in question.
But she warmed up by playing in the doubles at Eastbourne last week with Ons Jabeur, and Wimbledon is generally seen to have her greatest chance of capturing the coveted 24th Grand Slam.
– Nadal eyes calendar slam-
After winning the French Open for the 14th time, Nadal has won two of the four major tournaments this year, putting him halfway toward completing the feat.
Since Ron Laver accomplished the feat in 1969, no one has done so; Novak Djokovic came close last year but lost in the US Open final.
With his victory at Roland Garros earlier this month, the Spaniard has now won 22 Grand Slam singles trophies, two more than Djokovic and Roger Federer combined.
The most recent of Nadal’s two Wimbledon victories came in 2010, two years after winning his first championship in a thrilling victory against Federer.
After playing the whole French Open with his problematic left foot anaesthetized, there were concerns about his stamina for the two weeks at Wimbledon.
To lessen nerve discomfort in his foot, the 36-year-old second seed recently underwent a round of radiofrequency stimulation.
Almost every day, I can walk normally, said Rafael Nadal, who will play Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in his first encounter.
“I don’t have this ache when I wake up as I did for the previous year and a half.”
Swiatek’s most recent contest was a convincing victory against Coco Gauff in the French Open final, marking her 35th straight victory.
Wimbledon will put the top-seeded Pole’s abilities to continue the run to the test. Even though she was the junior champion in 2018, her best result came in the fourth round the previous year.
The grass is always difficult, the 21-year-old stated. “The fact that I have no expectations there is something I genuinely appreciate. It’s a little bit refreshing.”
The 2019 winner Simona Halep, the 16th seed this year, and last year’s defeated finalist Karolina Pliskova are among the other athletes competing in the women’s draw on Tuesday.
On the men’s side, Cristian Garin of Chile faces off against Chile’s Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas faces off against Switzerland’s Alexander Ritschard.