Serena Williams is going to play at Wimbledon this year, after all. The All England Club announced on Tuesday that Williams was awarded a wild-card entry for singles.
Williams has not competed anywhere since getting injured during the first set of her first-round match at the All England Club a year ago. And her name did not appear on the women’s singles entry list released by the grass-court Grand Slam tournament earlier this month.
But Williams was among six women given a spot in the singles draw on Tuesday, along with five British players: Katie Boulter, Jodie Burrage, Sonay Kartal, Yuriko Miyazaki and Katie Swan.
Two other women will get invitations “in due course,” the All England Club said.
Seven of the eight men’s wild-card berths were also announced, including one for three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka.
Earlier in the day, Williams posted a photo of her white shoes on what appears to be a grass court and the message: “SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022. See you there. Let’s Go.”
“SW” are her initials, of course, and “SW19” is the postal code for Wimbledon.
The 40-year-old American has won seven of her Open era-record 23 major singles championships at Wimbledon, most recently in 2016.
Williams was the runner-up there in 2018 and 2019 (the tournament was canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic).
In 2021, Williams lost her footing on the slick grass and then her right leg buckled, leading to just the second mid-match retirement at any Grand Slam tournament of her career and first since 1998.
With the lack of activity since then, Williams — who has been ranked No. 1 in the past — is No. 1,208th in the WTA rankings this week. That is why she was not automatically placed in the Wimbledon field.