Serena Williams played her first match in almost a year at the 2022 Rothesay International Eastbourne, and it was a victory! The tennis legend teamed up with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur for the first time and they defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzkova in the first round of the women’s doubles on Tuesday. Photographer Jimmie48 is providing us with a set of photos from the exciting tennis day on England’s south coast.
Wildcards Williams and Jabeur recovered from losing the first set 6-2, won the second set 6-3, and edged a see-saw match-tiebreak [13-11] on their third match point in front of an excited Eastbourne crowd.
All eyes will be on Williams as she makes her singles comeback next week at The Championships. The American is down to No.1204 in the WTA rankings, due to her long absence, but the seven-time singles and six-time doubles Wimbledon champion remains the biggest fear for all the players in the draw.
Three black patches on Serena’s right cheek left everyone wondering what that was for, but the legendary champion provided no answers. During her first practice together with Ons on Tuesday, Serena was seen both with and without those patches.
It doesn’t seem that Serena had anything to cover with those patches. One person on Twitter explained that it is kinesio tape which helps her sinus issues.
When it comes to fashion, Serena wore knee-length black tights and a long-sleeved printed Nike dress.
Her breathtaking Audemars Piguet watch was prominent on her left wrist, as well as giant rings on both of her ring fingers.
“It was so fun to play with Ons,” the former world No.1 Williams said in an on-court interview. “It was great, we had a lot of fun, and our opponents played amazing! We were just trying to stay in there after the first set.”
Ons said after the doubles match: “I was a little bit nervous before, playing with such a legend, but she made me really good on the court, and even when I made mistakes, she’d keep encouraging me.”
The Williams-Jabeur doubles team will face Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching in the Eastbourne quarterfinals on Wednesday.