Legendary athlete Serena Williams hasn’t been seen on the tennis court in roughly 12 months due to a sudden leg injury. However, the star recently announced that her professional playing career is far from over.
Last week, the 40-year-old took to Instagram to confirm that she will be participating in the upcoming Wimbledon competition – something many fans did not anticipate. In the caption of her post, she wrote “SW and SW19,” referencing her name and the postcode district in Southwest London where Wimbledon takes place. “It’s a date. 2022, see you there.”
Although Williams is no stranger to the major tennis event, this year’s Wimbledon will be historic for a few reasons. Not only is it her first time back since an injury forced her into temporary retirement, but it is her first major title without the assistance of her long-term coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.
The last time the legend saw a Wimbledon final was in 2019 when she lost to Simona Haelp, who is now the disciple of Williams’ former coach. When discussing their departure, Mouratoglou explained that after giving the 40-year-old an ultimatum, he couldn’t wait for her any longer and decided to move forward with Haelp.
Patrick Mouratoglou speaks on behalf of his relationship with Serena Williams
“I wanted to be fair to her and not be disappointed at the end of my career,” the coach said at a sports festival, according to Yahoo! News. “It was six weeks before the tour. I told her I was waiting for her on Monday for training and if she didn’t come I would consider myself free.”
When Williams did not show up for training, the coach decided to move forward with Haelp. After having a discussion with his champion athlete, she opened the door for him to work with another player and his relationship with Haelp began blossoming.
“I had a conversation with Serena, and the door opened for me, at least short term, to work with someone else… I said, ‘coaching is the passion of my life and it’s difficult for me not to work.’ So yes, I missed coaching big, big time,” Mouratoglou relayed. “Honestly, since I’m back to coaching with Simona, I cannot be happier. It’s an incredible satisfaction for me to do that job. It’s incredible.”
Although Williams will not be seen her iconic coach, many are celebrating and excited to see her return to the courts.
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