A surprise return to the courts after 10 months for Venus and after one year for Serena, has the world wondering where, and if, the famous tennis sisters will play again. Both sisters pleased their fans when they entered Wimbledon, a grand slam tennis tournament in London England that began late last month.
While they both played respectably, it was obvious they were past their prime, with Serena exiting in the first round and Venus exiting in a much more respectable third round. When asked if this was their last tournament, something tennis world loves to speculate on, both sisters had similar answers, “You never know where I’ll pop up.”
Serena, who turns 41 in August, last played tournament level tennis a year ago at Wimbledon. She left in pain and against her will, forced to stop playing in the first set of her first-round match after hurting her right leg in a slip on Centre Court.
This year, Serena also exited in the first round, after a more acceptable showing, but still a loss, to loss to # ??/ ranked Harmony Tan, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7). Williams gave her all for 3 hours, 11 minutes, dealing with rust and fatigue in the down-and-up-and-down-again spectacle that enthralled a raucous crowd.
“That was insane and intense,” Williams wrote on Instagram afterward. “Not the result I came for, but my goodness I enjoyed that. I hope you did as well. Onward and up.”
In her prime, this result would have been disappointing as can be, considering the stage and the opponent. She is not in her prime, of course.
“It definitely makes me want to hit the practice courts because,” Williams said, “when you’re playing not bad and you’re so close … I feel like that it’s actually kind of like, ‘OK, Serena, you can do this if you want.’”
Meanwhile, Venus, who said she was motivated by Serena’s entry really surprised the tennis world with her late entry into the tournament to play mixed doubles.
In her return match, Venus and partner Jamie Murray won a mixed doubles that was the first in any tennis discipline for the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion in more than 10 months. After cruising through round one and two matches, the duo ran into a much more challenging duo in the third round.
After splitting sets, the third set went to a 20 minute match time breaker with Venus and Jamie finally lo0sing 20 to 18.
The 42-year-old Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, was playing her first tournament in any tennis discipline in more than 10 months.
Jamie Murray, who also has a famous tennis sibling Any, said that Venus’ camp texted him asking to play.
Five of Williams’ major singles titles came at Wimbledon. She has also won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, all with sister Serena, including six at the All England Club. In addition, she has two major titles in mixed doubles.
Asked specifically about the U.S. Open, which she has won six times and begins on Aug. 29, Serena said: “There’s definitely lots of motivation to get better and to play at home.”