Serena Williams announced to the world less than two weeks ago that the most successful tennis-playing siblings in history are returning from lengthy layoffs right on time for Wimbledon, where they just so happen to have won nine of the past 11 singles championships.
For Serena, it will be her first Grand Slam tournament—and only second event—since she took home a second consecutive title from the All England Club in July 2010.
Her nearly yearlong absence resulted from a series of health issues, including two foot operations and blood clots in her lungs, that she said left her depressed and “on my deathbed.”
Venus, meanwhile, was sidelined by a hip injury from January until June.
“I feel like we’ve been on a similar road together. Her road hasn’t been as arduous or as long as mine, but I know what she’s been through coming back,” Serena said at warmup tournament this week in Eastbourne, England.
“We’ve been really enjoying our time just getting back together and practicing next to her and looking over and seeing her play so well. I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve got to do better.”’
There are, to be sure, other plot lines worth tracking during the fortnight.
Among them: Can Roger Federer make a real run at a seventh Wimbledon title? Can Rafael Nadal extend his recent excellence to five titles in a span of six Grand Slam tournaments? Can Novak Djokovic recover from the end of his 43-match winning streak to win a major title other than the Australian Open? Can Andy Murray finally—and mercifully—put an end to the locals’ 75-year wait for a British male champion at the All England Club? Might No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki win her first Grand Slam title? Could China’s Li Na win her second in a row? Will Maria Sharapova end her three-and-half-year major drought?
But the biggest curiosity, at least at the outset, is: How will the Williams sisters do?
Part of the interest stems from wondering how much longer they’ll be around. Venus turned 31 on Friday; Serena will be 30 in September. — AP.