Molik reckons that Wimbledon could be Serena Williams’ last hurrah
Serena Williams’ return ahead of Wimbledon has taken the tennis world by surprise, even as the seven-time champion’s prospects at this year’s event have been the subject of much deliberation.
Former World No. 8 Alicia Molik reckons that Williams may be on the verge of quitting the game after the prestigious Grand Slam, which could be her swan song.
While making her observations on the AO show, Molik went on to explain that the 40-year-old’s move to begin her comeback at a Grand Slam after being short of match practice was too big a call.
“I do worry about lack of match practice going into the event. I kind of thought it may also be her swan song at Wimbledon, also the fact that she hasn’t played in such a long time, hasn’t had any matches and entering to begin with a slam, you know it’s a very big call, it’s a big move and I kind of think it might actually be her goodbye,” Molik said.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion was on a 12-month break after a mid-match retirement at last year’s Wimbledon Championships. She only chose to play in the doubles event alongside Ons Jabeur at the Eastbourne International ahead of Wimbledon.
While choosing to describe Williams’ move to ease her way into SW19 as “smart”, Molik highlighted the fact that she hadn’t seen too much of the American training or practicing on social media.
“I think first of all, really smart movie from Serena to play her first event as a doubles event I think just to ease her way in. On social media, haven’t seen too much of Serena on the court training and practicing, so for me I think first of all that’s a smart move leading into Wimbledon,” she added.
Serena Williams hasn’t won Wimbledon since 2016 – and last won a Grand Slam title in 2017
Serena Williams partnered Ons Jabeur at the Rothesay International Eastbourne
At Eastbourne, Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur got past the Czech-Spanish pair of Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo in a hard fought 2-6, 6-3, 13-11 victory to reach the quarterfinals.
Williams and Jabeur seemed to have found their footing with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-4 victory over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-Ching to book their spot in the last four at Eastbourne. The pair had to withdraw from the semifinals after Jabeur suffered a right-knee injury.
Williams last won at Wimbledon in 2016 when she defeated Angelique Kerber in the finals but was beaten by the German in the 2018 final. Her quest for an eighth Wimbledon title remained unfulfilled despite reaching the finals yet again in 2019 when she lost to Simona Halep.
Serena Williams, who last won a Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open, is in search of an elusive 24th Slam title which will help her draw level with Margaret Court’s record tally.
The American also reached the US Open finals twice in 2018 and 2019 only to lose to Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu respectively.