EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Serena Williams skipped her scheduled practice session at Eastbourne at late notice on Monday as the 23-time Grand Slam champion prepares to make her return to competition after a year away.
Williams trained at a nearby club over the weekend and was expected to have an on-site session at Devonshire Park ahead of playing doubles with Ons Jabeur. Their first match is set for Tuesday against Sara Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzkova.
The 40-year-old Williams, who hasn't competed anywhere since she was injured in the first round of Wimbledon last year, was awarded a wild card for singles at the All England Club.
Jabeur said it was "unbelievable" to have been asked by Williams to be part of her journey back to competition at the Wimbledon warmup.
"I'm a good secret keeper -- yes, I've known (since) before the French Open," said the No. 3-ranked Jabeur, who arrived at Eastbourne after winning the title in Berlin on Sunday.