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Serena Williams withdraws from Eastbourne semi-finals due to injury to doubles partner Ons Jabeur

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Serena Williams pulls out of Eastbourne semi-finals with injury to doubles partner Ons Jabert – GETTY IMAGES
Serena Williams pulls out of Eastbourne semi-finals with injury to doubles partner Ons Jabert – GETTY IMAGES

Serena Williams’ return to Eastbourne came to an abrupt end on Thursday after her doubles partner Once Jabeur was forced out of the semi-finals with a right knee injury.

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Williams chose to play doubles with world No. 3 Jaber in her first tournament after nearly a year away due to injury.

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Withdrawal, while bad news for Jabert, is not bad news for Williams. In Eastbourne, she was simply looking for a place to ease her return to the court before turning her attention to the tougher challenge of playing singles at Wimbledon. With two matches under her belt, she did it, and the 23-time champion will no doubt cheer her on with performances.

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After shaking off the rust in his first match on Tuesday, 40-year-old Williams during yesterday’s quarter-final in places looked like herself. In the second set, when she and Jaber won 6-2 6-4 over doubles specialists Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-jing, Williams saved break points by hitting three straight aces in vintage play.

“I feel good, as good as you can feel after such a long break,” she said Wednesday night. “It was actually a good game and playing practice, which is exactly what I needed and wanted to do when I came here, so I couldn’t ask for more.”

While the physical exertion of a couple of doubles matches is a completely different challenge than two weeks at Wimbledon, the rest of the women’s draw will focus on her ability to recover smoothly.

Williams enters the championship as a wildcardand for the first time since her debut in 1998, she was not seeded. Even though she’s not currently in the top 1000, wherever she ends up, this would result in huge draw imbalances because she remains such a threat.

In the meantime, Jaber’s injury will be cause for concern, given that she was one of the top contenders for Wimbledon, especially after winning the title in Berlin on grass.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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