Serena Williams hinted during an Instagram story video alongside Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that she would be making her comeback at Wimbledon.
“We’ve been talking about my comeback, and he’s been hyping me up and getting me ready for Wimbledon,” she said (h/t CNN’s Jacob Lev). “Can’t wait!” Rodgers than asked why Serena wouldn’t be participating at the U.S. Open. “Wimbledon’s before the U.S. Open, I’ve got to play Wimbledon first,” she responded. “Exciting!”
The video ended with Rodgers pointing at Williams and exclaiming, “She’s back.” The 40-year-old last played in the 2021 Wimbledon tournament, retiring from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich after slipping and injuring her leg.
“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg,” she wrote at the time on Instagram. “My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful. Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on—and off—the court meant the world to me.”
Williams has dominated women’s tennis throughout her career, and her 23 grand slam titles trails only Margaret Court (24). Her seven Wimbledon titles is tied for the third most in the history of the tournament with Steffi Graf and Dorothea Lambert Chambers. But she hasn’t one a grand slam since the 2017 Australian Open and has won just one singles title in the past five years.
It’s natural that Williams’ torrid pace has slowed in the twilight of her career, as injury issues and other factors have affected her career. But she hasn’t lost the competitive drive or the desire to catch and pass Court.
“I should have been at like 30 or 32 (grand slam singles titles),” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in March. “I should have had it (the record), really, I’ve had many opportunities to have it. But I’m not giving up.”