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Serena Williams gets Wimbledon wild card, returns to tournament tennis

Serena Williams

Serena Williams during her first round ladies’ singles match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich on centre court on day two of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

Serena Williams received a wild card for Wimbledon later this month and will return to tournament tennis next week for her first matches in nearly one year.

Wimbledon announced Tuesday that Williams is among the initial wild card recipients for singles. The tournament starts June 27.

Before that, Williams will play her first match since last year’s Wimbledon at a lower-level grass-court event in Eastbourne, Great Britain, next week, entering doubles with Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

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 on Tuesday, 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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