Ons Jabeur has admitted she was “nervous” to play doubles with Serena Williams at the Eastbourne International.
Jabeur and Williams battled to an entertaining 2-6 6-3 13-11 victory against Sara Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzková in their first match at the WTA 500 event.
It was Williams’s first appearance on court since Wimbledon last year, when she was forced to retire from her first-round match with injury.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner announced she would be returning last week, starting with the doubles tournament at Eastbourne.
She has also received a wildcard entry for Wimbledon, which gets underway on June 27th.
The magnitude of the occasion was not lost on Jabeur, who revealed she had “so much fun”.
“I was little bit nervous, playing with such a legend,” she said. “Even when I made mistakes on court she was supporting me.”
Williams’s response was heartwarming: “I got you”.
Jabeur, who is currently ranked third in the world, had previously spoken about how excited she was to be playing alongside Williams.
“Many players were jealous because I’m playing with her,” she said. “Honestly, Serena is Serena. She is a legend and always will be. And the fact that she returned and I get to be part of her journey, it’s really unbelievable.
“She did a lot for our sport and I really respect her, respect her story, respect everything that she’s been through. I hope I can learn even two percent from it.
“Now I’m joking with other doubles players, I was like, ‘If you have less than 20 Grand Slams, don’t even ask me to play doubles with you anymore.’”
Jabeur did admit that she didn’t want to come up against the American legend at Wimbledon, however.
“I hope she [draws] Iga,” she joked “At least someone should stop Iga a little bit.”
Iga Świątek is currently on a 35-match winning streak that stretches back to February 16th, and is considered one of the favourites to triumph at Wimbledon.