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Serena Williams on what would constitute success at Wimbledon: “I think you know the answer to that”

The 23-time Grand Slam champion hinted that only winning an eighth Wimbledon title would be a success as she returns to Wimbledon

Serena Williams Wimbledon preview AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Serena Williams is back at Wimbledon, and it seems she’s intent on winning the title yet again.

The seven-time champion, who last played singles a year ago when she suffered a hamstring injury in the first round at Wimbledon, returned to action in doubles in Eastbourne last week, looking sharp in two wins with Ons Jabeur.

And though she is just a month shy of her 41st birthday and though she has not played competitively for 12 months, she had a very quick response when asked what would constitute success for her over the next fortnight.

“Oh, yes. You know the answer to that,” she said. You guys know the answer to that. I don’t know. I have high goals, but we’ll see. I’m not going to answer that.”

Williams practised on Centre Court in the build-up to the event as part of a new initiative by the Championships to ensure the courts are bedded in more than in previous years, something that might have helped the American last year when she suffered her injury in slippery conditions.

Williams said she had decided to play Wimbledon a few weeks ago, certainly before the French Open, and that trying to create a new memory other than one that involved injury had also helped her decision.

“It was a lot of motivation, to be honest,” she said. “It was always something since the match ended that was always on my mind. So it was a tremendous amount of motivation for that. You never want any match to end like that. It’s really unfortunate. But it was definitely something that’s always been on the top of my mind.”

Williams said she had been encouraged by her performances in Eastbourne.,

“Eastbourne was a good experience. I went into this saying, you know, I’d play Eastbourne. I would never be ready for singles, I’ll just kind of play doubles and see how I felt. Definitely probably could have played singles there,” she said.

“But the doubles was great. Played with Ons (Jabeur), who has been playing well. And it was good. I felt more prepared than I thought I would like a month or two months or three months ago. Way, way more. So it was kind of surprising, but also it’s just a fun time, just to be out there and to enjoy it. I don’t know, just to be out on the court again was cool.”

And asked if she was thankful not to have been drawn against one of the top seeds, Williams was equally dead-pan.

“Every match is hard,” she added. “Every match. You can’t underestimate anyone or any match any day. Anyone could have been drawn to me.”

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