‘Nobody wants to play against Serena’ claims former WTA star
Former top 10 WTA star Barbara Schett has claimed that “nobody wants to play against Serena Williams” ahead of her long awaited return to the sport.
It was announced on Tuesday that seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams is she is set to compete at SW19 this summer.
The 40-year-old, who will be looking to win a record-extending 24th Grand Slam title, was given a wild card to this years event and has not played since the 2021 edition of Wimbledon where she suffered a first round injury.
Reacting to the news, former Austrian number one Barbara Schett was surprised to hear of her return but also believes that despite a year away from the game, “nobody” on the tour will want to face the American.
Speaking in a recent interview, Schett told reporters, “I couldn’t believe it. I was going through my Instagram account, and then suddenly I see the post from Serena Williams.
“I was like, ‘wow, Serena Williams is coming back. She’s playing Wimbledon’.
“Nobody thought that she was going to play there because we had a close look at the entry list. She wasn’t entered.
“She hasn’t played for one year, and now she’s decided to take that wild card. It’s very exciting, I think for women’s tennis, it’s very exciting for all of us to be able to watch her. And I think it’s exciting times for her. The question is, just how much has she practiced?
“I think if you’re out for a whole year, it’s very difficult because you’re not playing any matches. Even if you only practice a lot. It’s not the same.
“But one thing is for sure, nobody wants to play against Serena Williams so the other 127 players are going to be scared to draw Serena Williams.”
Despite claiming that “nobody” will want to face her, Schett did raise some questions surrounding Serena’s movement on court.
“I think with her game style, she has a big serve. If she has been practising, that will help her a lot. But the matter is, how is her movement going to be on the grass court?
“But we all know that’s the hardest area, the hardest surface to actually move [on]. And I think we [will] get a better idea when she plays that first match.
“But I’m sure she’s going to be very rusty. Plus, she’s 40 years old, which for a tennis player is quite old, unfortunately.”
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