On Tuesday at Wimbledon, Serena Williams will compete in singles tennis for the first time in a year after taking a yearlong off. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal will resume his quest to capture the third leg of a potential calendar Grand Slam.
Iga Swiatek, the top seed in the women’s competition, will begin play on Centre Court at 13:30 local time (12:30 GMT) against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett. Swiatek has won each of the past six events in which she has participated.
But the major emphasis will likely be on Williams, who has won this tournament seven times in a row. Williams is scheduled to play an unseeded player from France named Harmony Tan in her first singles match since an injury forced her to withdraw from her first-round match last year. Williams, now 40 years old, triumphed in the final of her Wimbledon singles victories six years ago; yet, she advanced to the final in both 2018 and 2019.
The American, who was granted a wildcard for this year’s competition, is now tied for 23 victories in the singles competition in Grand Slam events, which is agonisingly one victory short of Margaret Court’s all-time record.
After an extended period of inactivity, Williams’ world ranking had dropped all the way down to 1,204th, so many people were beginning to question whether or not she would return to the sport. However, she got herself ready by playing doubles with Ons Jabeur at Eastbourne the week before, and it is generally agreed that Wimbledon presents her best opportunity to win an elusive twenty-fourth Grand Slam title.
After following up his victory at the Australian Open with a victory at the French Open, Nadal is well on his path to completing a career Grand Slam after winning his 14th French Open championship.
Since Ron Laver in 1969, no player has been able to accomplish the task, with the exception of Novak Djokovic, who came so close to doing it only a year ago but fell short when he lost in the final of the US Open.
The victory that the Spaniard had earlier this month at Roland Garros brought his total number of Grand Slam singles victories to 22, putting him two wins ahead of both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
In 2010, Rafael Nadal won his second Wimbledon championship. Two years ago, in 2008, he defeated Roger Federer in a thrilling match to win the tournament for the first time.
After playing the whole of the French Open with his problematic left foot anaesthetized, there was a question mark over his durability for the two weeks at Wimbledon. His performance was called into question because of this.
Since then, the second seed, who is now 36 years old, has gone through a course of radiofrequency stimulation, which is a treatment that is intended to lessen the nerve pain in his foot.
Nadal, who will play Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in his first round, revealed, “I can walk normal most of the days, virtually every single day.” Cerundolo will be Nadal’s opponent.
“When I wake up, I don’t have this agony that I’ve been feeling for the last year and a half,” the patient said. “It’s been a miracle.”
Swiatek’s last match was a comprehensive triumph over Coco Gauff in the final of the French Open. This victory was Swiatek’s thirty-fifth victory in a row.
The ability of the Polish top seed to keep their winning streak alive will be tested at Wimbledon. Despite the fact that she won the junior championship in 2018, her best performance came the year before when she advanced to the fourth round.
Other players who are scheduled to compete in the women’s draw on Tuesday include defending champion Simona Halep, who is the sixteenth seed this year, as well as Karolina Pliskova, who was eliminated in the finals of the tournament last year.
On the men’s side, the fourth seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, will play against Alexander Ritschard of Switzerland, while the eighth seed, Matteo Berrettini, will play against Cristian Garin of Chile. Berrettini was the runner-up in the tournament in 2021.