IMAGE: Former World No 1, Serena Williams is a 7-time Wimbledon champion. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Former world number one Serena Williams has received a wildcard for Wimbledon and will return to action after a year out when she competes in the doubles at the Eastbourne International.
Williams, 40, has not played on the Tour since a first-round exit at Wimbledon last year due to injury but the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced she was one of six women to receive a wildcard.
She will first team up with Tunisian world number four Ons Jabeur for the doubles event at Eastbourne which gets underway this weekend.
“SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022 See you there,” Williams wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, referring to the postcode of the AELTC which hosts Wimbledon.
Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) confirmed the 23-times Grand Slam champion and Jabeur were in the doubles draw at Eastbourne, which will be conducted on Saturday. But they are not likely to play their first match before Tuesday.
“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.
“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.”
The American, now ranked 1,208 in the world, has won Wimbledon seven times in her career. Wimbledon begins on June 27.