Serena Williams has been confirmed for a singles return at Wimbledon this summer, after playing doubles in Eastbourne with Ons Jabeur.
Williams, 40, has been out since injuring her left leg in the first round at Wimbledon last year, but is now going to grace the court again at SW19.
The Grand Slam confirmed she has been given a singles wild card, giving her another chance to win a record-equalling 24th major title.
Williams has also been confirmed to play doubles with world No. 4 Jabeur at the Eastbourne International in the week before Wimbledon, which starts on June 27.
Williams was victorious at Wimbledon in 2016, and also reached the final in 2018 and 2019. As well as singles she could also compete in either the women’s or mixed doubles this year.
Her inclusion represents a massive U-turn after being missed off this year’s entry list, alongside older sister Venus.
Williams, who earlier on Tuesday posted an image of her trainers on grass with the caption “SW and SW19. It’s a date”, is ranked No. 1,208 in the world due to her inactivity over the past 12 months.
She is a nine-time Wimbledon singles champion.
The last time Williams played doubles on tour she made the 2020 Auckland final with good friend Caroline Wozniacki.
Speaking about her Eastbourne return, Williams said: “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.
“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.”
Jabeur says she is “over the moon” to play with Williams.
“Really lucky that she picked me. I cannot wait to play with her. Such a legend. I always loved Serena, the way she plays, the way she is on court and outside the court.”
Roger Federer was also omitted from the original entry list, and it appears that there will be no such U-turn for the 20-time Grand Slam winner.
He is targeting a return at the Laver Cup in September, according to quotes published by insidesport via an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF
“I had surgery at the end of August and people ask me ‘So, how does it look?’. And each time I have to answer that it will take a little more time.
“I just have to stay patient, I’m making constant progress.”
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is still hoping to compete at Wimbledon, as he steps up his training on grass.
The Spaniard has recently undergone treatment on a chronic foot problem after winning his 14th French Open title earlier this month.
He was pictured on crutches after receiving the treatment, and is yet to confirm his place at the tournament.