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Quote of the Day: “Inspired by Serena,” Venus Williams aces Wimbledon comeback
The former world No. 1 set the record straight about her "last minute" return, after her first-round victory with Jamie Murray in mixed doubles.
Published Jul 01, 2022
WATCH: The Break: Venus preps for mixed doubles return at Wimbledon
When former No. 1 and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced her surprise return to singles action at Wimbledon, it dominated the pre-tournament headlines for days.
But that was soon overshadowed by some even more surprising news: older sister Venus Williams, former world No. 1 and seven-time major winner, had been spotted on the practice courts too—and she seemed to be brushing up on her doubles skills.
Could the stars be smiling down on the All England Club? Not one but both of the Williams sisters, back in various Wimbledon draws? In 2022? In this economy?
“It was definitely super last minute. Just inspired by Serena,” Venus told press. “Like I said, it was amazing. I just was so happy to have so much help today.”
While younger sister Serena’s Wimbledon journey is already over, with the seven-time champ stunned in the first round by Harmony Tan, it seems that Venus’ own comeback is just kicking off. She partnered Jamie Murray for a 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 victory over Michael Venus and Alicja Rosolska on Court No. 1.
Q. Venus, I saw you taking it all in at the end there. What was it like to be back on a big court? Also, you mentioned it was last minute. Did you come here planning to play? We saw you on the practice court initially.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I had no plan to play. I saw the grass and I got excited (smiling)... I was at the French Open, it's a beautiful event, but my heart didn't beat the same way.
I had no plans. That's why I was asking [Jamie] last minute. He just had a baby, too, so I know there's a lot going on. Definitely I couldn't have guessed that I would be here right now, taking it at the last minute…
It was like, Oh, my God, wow. I just not only played a match but won a match. I'm never like that kind of player. I always expect to win. We wanted to win.
But when I sat there at the end, it was like, real. Yeah, I felt something in my heart.
While it might have been a “last minute” decision, don't think she’s here to have a good time or go “for a stroll”—as the five-time singles champion and six-time women’s doubles champion also made very clear in her press conference. Venus is coming for the trophy.
And indeed, Wimbledon mixed doubles remains one of the few trophies left to claim in her future-Hall-of-Famer haul: she won the Australian Open and French Open in 1998 with Justin Gimelstob. She later reached the Wimbledon final in 2006 with Bob Bryan, but has not been back to a mixed doubles final since.
Wild cards Venus and Murray will take on all-British duo Alicia Barnett and Jonny O’Mara next in the round of 16.