Sports

Eastbourne: Serena Williams happy despite forced exit

by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Serena Williams could not proceed further in the Eastbourne International championship after her partner in the doubles, Ons Jabeur wounded her right knee to pull out of the contest.

The 40-year-old, who made a shocking return to tennis on June 14 to put an end to the speculations suggesting she has retired from the sport, was issued a wild card to help her prepare for the tournament adequately before time.

Both tennis pair, Jabeur and Williams, were scheduled to play Serbian Aleksandra Krunic and Polish Magda Linette in last week’s Thursday semi-final but the injury on the right knee of the world number 3 resulted in a walkover win for Krunic and Linette to cruise to the final.

The duo later got a second walkover in the final of the women’s doubles at Eastbourne against the pair of Latvian Jeļena Ostapenko and Ukrainian Lyudmyla Kichenok to win the event.

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According to Williams, who was not perturbed about the unfortunate incident that led to their forced withdrawal, it was a huge relief to be back in the game, adding that it created an avenue for her to practice again.

“I feel good, as good as one can feel after having such a long time off. I was telling Ons, this was a really good match and the second set, in particular, they played really well, but we were able to just play different circumstances,” she said.

“It was actually good match play and match practice, which is exactly what I needed and what I wanted to do coming here, so I couldn’t have asked for more,” Williams added.

The 23 Grand Slams winner will look forward to featuring in Wimbledon as an unseeded participant after she was handed a wild card by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to participate in the June 27 to July 10 event.

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