Serena Williams has revealed her plans to make her long-awaited return to the tennis court.
The US star has not competed since Wimbledon 2021 and it will be the All England Club that will host her comeback this year.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion confirmed her plans just hours after her long time coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced he will be working with Simona Halep.
Williams discussed her return with NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers on her Instagram story. The Green Bay Packers star proclaimed himself to be his compatriot’s “hype man” as the two chatted about her upcoming plans for the year.
“We’ve been talking about my comeback and he’s been hyping me up and getting me ready for Wimbledon. Can’t wait,” Williams said while the two were at a Bitcoin conference in Miami.
Rodgers appeared a little taken aback and questioned whether she would be competing at the US Open.
“Wimbledon is before the US Open, I have to play Wimbledon first!” Williams laughed.
Serena Williams says in a video that she could return on courts at Wimbledon.— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) April 8, 2022
"Wimbledon is before the US Open, I have to play Wimbledon first. It's exciting!
– She is back!"
Do you believe it?
(via @BenRothenberg) pic.twitter.com/DzIAGlDjbE
The former world number one withdrew from the All England Club last year after suffering a hamstring injury and she has been absent from tennis since.
Prior to her injury woes, Williams had been struggling with form. The last time she reached a tournament final was in January 2020, when she beat Jessica Pegula to win the ASB Classic.
Since then, her best results have been three semi-final finishes — the most recent being a loss to Naomi Osaka at the 2021 Australian Open.
Due to being out of form as well as her lengthy absence from the court, Williams has plummeted to 246th in the WTA rankings.
Rumours have since been circulating over whether the 23-time Grand Slam champion is about to call time on her iconic career.
She is just one title away from equalling Margaret Court’s all-time record, and while she has recently stated that achieving this milestone is no longer a priority, she has seemingly shutdown talks of her retiring this year with her Instagram announcement.
Providing everything goes to plan, Williams’ discussion with Rodgers indicates fans will see the queen of the court back in action at both Wimbledon and the US Open at the very least this year.
At these two tournaments alone, she has won 13 titles over the years, which is more than half of her overall Grand Slam tally.
As a seven-time Wimbledon champion, Williams will be most comfortable on the grass of the All England Club, but can the 40-year-old defy all odds and finally secure her 24th title in the ultimate comeback?