Serena Williams says she ‘couldn’t have asked for more’ despite early Eastbourne exit

Serena Williams says she ‘couldn’t ask for more’ despite her Wimbledon preparations being cut short in Eastbourne.

Williams has not played a singles match for a year now, but she has accepted a wild card to make her return at The Championships this summer.

She sought to ease herself in by playing in the doubles at Eastbourne alongside WTA number three Ons Jabeur.

There they won two matches, although they have now had to withdraw due to Jabeur picking up a minor thigh injury.

They had managed to manoeuvre themselves to the semi-final stage, but both will now head to Wimbledon instead.

Serena, though, has declared herself happy with her preparations in Eastbourne despite the premature end.

“I feel good,” she said. “As good as one can feel after having such a long time off.

“I was telling Ons, this (the quarterfinal against Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching) was a really good match and the second set in particular, they played really well, but we were able to just play different circumstances.

“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 will not be seeded at Wimbledon as they have removed their previously-used formula to take into account grasscourt pedigree.

Author’s comment: It really is an ideal scenario for Serena Williams – to the point that you’d be surprised if it wasn’t pre-planned.

While playing Eastbourne was sensible for both, the last thing either Williams or Jabeur would have wanted was to be playing doubles at Eastbourne this weekend with Wimbledon starting on Monday.

Both players have now had two matches and will be better for it, but it has now served its purpose.

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