Serena Williams to Make Long-Awaited Return to Tennis Following Injury: 'It's a Date'

The 23-time Grand Slam winner has not played competitively since last year's Wimbledon Championship

Serena Williams
Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Serena Williams is returning to the courts!

The 23-time Grand Slam champion has not played competitively since hurting her right leg during a first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon last year. The injury caused Williams to withdraw from the tournament.

After a 12-month wait, the tennis star shared a cryptic message on Instagram on Tuesday that sparked speculation about an upcoming return.

"SW and SW19," Williams said in the caption of a photograph of a pair of Nike sneakers and ankle wraps. "It's a date. 2022 See you there."

According to the Associated Press, "SW19" is the postal code for the Wimbledon Championships, which will take place in England from June 27 to July 10.

Wimbledon confirmed the appearance on social media with a tweet that said the "stage awaits" Williams.

"Our 7-time champion @serenawilliams will return to Wimbledon as a wild card this summer for her 21st appearance," the tweet said.

Before Wimbledon, Williams will play doubles with tennis player Ons Jabeur at the Rothesay International Eastbourne Tennis Tournament next week, the AP reported.

"I am excited to return to the Rothesay International tournament in England and to be back on the grass - a surface that has been so good to me throughout my career," Williams said in a statement published by the Lawn Tennis Association on Tuesday.

"Eastbourne has a unique charm that you don't see anywhere else on Tour and I'm looking forward to playing in front of the fans again," she continued.

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Williams first teased an appearance at Wimbledon in an April post to her Instagram Story featuring Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"We've been talking about my comeback, and he's been hyping me up and getting me ready for Wimbledon," Williams told her followers of Rodgers. "Can't wait!"

She clarified to Rodgers, 38, that "Wimbledon's before the U.S. Open" when he asked why she wouldn't be participating in this year's event.

"I've got to play Wimbledon first," Williams said.

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