US Open in mind but Serena Williams remains tight-lipped about return to Wimbledon after first-round exit in 2022

Serena Williams gave it her all on Tuesday in the Wimbledon first-round women’s singles match but it was not enough as the 7-time champion was shown the door early. Serena lost to France’s Harmony Tan 5-7, 6-1, 6-7 (7) in a marathon match that extended 3 hours and 10 minutes at the center court on Sunday.

Playing her first singles match in close to a year, first time since the Wimbledon heartbreak in 2021, Serena put on a valiant show as she fought back from a set down and saved a match point only to go down fighting.

Serena, 40, didn’t look at her best as she was nowhere near her best when it came to court coverage but the 23-time Grand Slam champion left with a smile, knowing she had put her best foot forward.

When asked if she would be returning to Wimbledon next year, Serena said she is unsure of a return to the grass-court Grand Slam.

“That’s a question I can’t answer. Like, I don’t know. I feel like, you know, I don’t know. Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up,” she said.

“Today I gave all I could do … Maybe tomorrow I could have gave more. Maybe a week ago I could have gave more. But today was what I could do. At some point, you have to be able to be okay with that.

“And that’s all I can do. I can’t change time or anything,” she added.

‘US OPEN IS SUPER SPECIAL’

Serena said her showing at last week’s Eastbourne International (doubles with Ons Jabeur) and Wimbledon center court will motivate her to hit the practice courts again.

The 40-year-old said she is motivated to play the US Open later this year, adding that playing in front of home crowd wherein she has achieved a lot of success is always special.

“It definitely makes me want to hit the practice courts because, you know, when you’re playing not bad and you’re so close,” she said.

“Like I said, any other opponent probably would have suited my game better. So, yeah, I feel like that it’s actually kind of like, Okay, Serena, you can do this if you want.

“Yeah, I mean, when you’re at home, especially in New York, and the U.S. Open, that being the first place I’ve won a Grand Slam, is something that’s always super special. Your first time is always special. There’s definitely, you know, lots of motivation to get better and to play at home.”

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