Serena Williams continues comeback with second victory in Eastbourne
Eastbourne, UK – Serena Williams went two-for-two following her 12-month absence after she and new doubles partner Ons Jabeur secured a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old played her first match in the Rothesay International Eastbourne on Tuesday after she sustained a serious injury to her right leg at Wimbledon last year. Despite a rusty start, the athlete showed flashes of her brilliance.
Williams stepped things up a notch on Wednesday with an array of winners and aces to send a warning to her rivals amid the pursuit to secure her 24th grand-slam title.
It took only two minutes for the American to send down an ace and several volleys minutes later provided the first break.
More followed as the opening set wrapped in just 25 minutes to the delight of those still left inside Center Court with the sun fast setting.
Shadows had engulfed the Devonshire Park venue by then, but Aoyama and Chan made more of a fight in the second.
Williams had to defend a number of break points on serve. Yet, she showed the type of steel that's made her into a fierce competitor for nearly three decades.
Serena Williams says Ons Jabeur "really helped me out"
Another winner from the veteran set up break point in the ninth game of the second gave the new-look doubles team a chance to close within one game of the last four.
An additional ace for Williams' tally helped get her and Jabeur over the line. They are now just two victories away from securing silverware at Eastbourne.
"I think we played together much better today although I felt we played really well together yesterday. Ons really helped me out [by] playing so good," Williams said on court.
Quizzed on how she celebrated yesterday, the seven-time Wimbledon champion joked she went for a dip.
"I went to the beach and for a swim like everyone here in the cold water, no, no way. I didn't do much. I just played with my baby [Olympia]. She is so fun," Williams said.
Jabeur and Williams are set to return to Devonshire Park on Thursday for their last-four encounter.
"I didn't know we are in the semi-final. It is super fast but it is great for us," Jabeur insisted.
Cover photo: GLYN KIRK / AFP