Seven-time major champion Venus Williams made her return to competitive singles play at the Libema Open grass-court tournament after recovering from a hamstring injury. However, her comeback was met with a formidable challenge from 17-year-old rising star Celine Naef of Switzerland, resulting in Williams’ defeat in a thrilling match, 3-6 7-6(3) 6-2.
Despite displaying her resilience and receiving support from her sister Serena in the stands, Venus couldn’t overcome the teenager making her WTA debut. After winning the first set, Williams lost a second-set tiebreaker and struggled in the deciding set. Awestruck by the opportunity to compete against the five-time Wimbledon champion, Naef praised the tennis icon as an amazing player and a role model for all aspiring athletes.
Williams, currently ranked No.696, is turning her focus on the upcoming Wimbledon, where she won her last singles Grand Slam title in 2008. The 42-year-old Williams had been sidelined by a hamstring injury suffered earlier in the year during a tournament in Auckland. Her return to the singles circuit marked a significant milestone in her journey, despite the loss to the talented Naef. (source: ESPN)