Between injuries and pregnancy, Serena Williams returns to the loupe

She will inevitably be the attraction of this upcoming Wimbledon. After a full year off the circuit, Serena Williams is making, once again, her big return to the courts at 40 years and 8 months. The former World No. 1 will compete in doubles at the WTA 500 tournament in Eastbourne (June 18-25) before meeting Wimbledon, where she was crowned seven times in singles (anim and doubles) the following week.

In 2021, she had left London in tears despite public outcry over an abandonment from the first round. Cause, an injury to the right hex-jambier that was also private from the US Open the same year and has been removed from the courts to this day.

This is not the first time the American has retired from competition, nor for various injuries since the birth of his daughter Alexis Olympia Jr. Zoom in on the previous four returns of the most titled player in Grand Chelem of the Open Age (23 singles singles).

March 2004

Why she was arrested. A left knee operation in August 2003 marked her first major strike, an eight -month break, as she had just regained her second Wimbledon ranking. The American, at the summit, is planning this season what will become the “Serena Slam”, reporting on the four tournaments of the Grand Chelem d’affilée, on horseback in the 2002-2003 season. (Roland-Garros 2002, Wimbledon 2002, US Open 2002 and Open d’Australie 2003). This number was 1 month in 2002 before the retrograder to the troisième place for the new year, and caused childlessness at the US Open and Masters.

How did his return pass. On a flash of lightning. She is heading to the Miami Tournament which will then be played in Key Biscayne for her return to competition in April 2004. But the sequel will be much more complicated. In the recovery phase, she will seek success all season before settling in Beijing in September. The cadette des soeurs Williams ends the season sur une défaite and finale of the Masters against Maria Sharapova. Doubles holder of the title, she also rallied to the final of Wimbledon. She is expected to receive this year’s comeback award from the WTA.

At the start of the 2005 season she returned with success at Grand Chelem with a new crown in Melbourne. But the rest of her season is still weak: again diminished, she never surpassed the 8th finals in major. The American came out of the top 10 for the first time since she entered in 1999, following her first major success at Flushing Meadows.

July 2006

Why she was arrested. After a rather fruitful 2005 season, the “Mommy Smash” bow blew again as the Americans fell in two sets in the third round of the Australian Open against Slovakian Daniela Hantuchová, then in the 18th World Cup. She will not return before the Cincinnati tournament in July and will remain absent for six months due to chronic pain in the left knee. Constrained to watch the tournaments in Antwerp, Dubai, Miami, Charleston, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon from his couch, the degringole champion came out of the top 100 for the first time in nine years.

Serena Williams eliminated by Amélie Mauresmo at the US Open in 2006. (Pochat/L’Equipe)

How did his return pass. She is heading into the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open for her return where she faces future winner Vera Zvonareva (Russia). The signal sent is reassuring: she undoubtedly loses to world number eleventh Anastasia Myskina in the first round. She will be eliminated from the US Open in her 8th final by Frenchwoman Amélie Mauresmo. The American returns to the top 100, but is having a white season, during which she disputed only four tournaments.

It was the next season, in 2007, that the machine was literally on the road, its season was not disturbed. She clinched Series No. 1 Maria Sharapova in the final of the Australia Open (6-1, 6-2) in just one hour and three minutes of play. Her first major since 2005. Serena Williams will line up two full seasons with five Grand Chelems and a Masters win.

June 2011

Why she was arrested. Serena Williams has been chasing physical nurses since July 2010 with a foot injury, caused by a glass breaker and a restaurant. Packed for the start of the 2011 season after two near -sudden surgeries, the American is emergency hospitalized, early March, for a hematoma following a treatment intended to treat pulmonary embolism.

How did his return pass. Without much success at first. In Eastbourne in June, she lost the second round to Vera Zvonareva, before slipping into the eighth Wimbledon final against Marion Bartoli. Two reversals that beat America to 175th place.

Dreams about “his” grass that will soon be forgotten in favor of an American tour well above his hopes. Two titles at Stanford in Toronto, a final at the US Open, including victories over Caroline Wozniacki (then World No. 1) and Victoria Azarenka (No. 5): here’s Serena back on stage. Doped with a redundant ground cover but also a service and an ultra-aggressive right strike, as often, she will make the Wimbledon, JO, US Open and Masters quadruples next season. Victoria Azarenka, beaten in each of these four tournaments, still remembers.

Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2012. (Nicolas Luttiau/L'Equipe)

Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2012. (Nicolas Luttiau/L’Equipe)

February 2018

Why she was arrested. The 2017 season of the American legend has also turned quickly but prolific. Nine small matches at a title at the Australian Open, in a historic edition where she beat her sister Venus in the final, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal found the tops at the men, before ranging the rackets for more d’un an.

If a knee pain prevents her from disputing the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments, she is definitely putting an end to her season on April 19, when she announces, through her agent, that she is waiting for her. first child, Olympia (who was born on 16 November).

How did his return pass. Despite a return to the Abu Dhabi exhibition at the end of 2017, she will have to renounce her title defense in Australia in early January, insufficiently on loan physically. After a timid return in February, Serena Williams is, for the first time in her career, forced to declare full-time package at Roland-Garros, due to pain at the pectoral right level that prevents her from developing her full potential. service. The American looks to reach the final of the next two Majors, losing to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon and Naomi Osaka in New York. If the second of these appearances turns out to be the pugilat, the former world number one earning a penalty game for a series of warnings, she finishes the year in an honorable 16th place that deserves the prize from the come -back of the year.


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