Serena Williams says she’s ready for Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England — It’s hard to know exactly what Serena Williams will be able to do over the next two weeks at the All England Club.

On the one hand, due at least in part to an injured left knee, Williams is short on matches and training time this season, factors she cited after her third-round exit June 1 at the French Open, her most recent tournament.

She has played only 12 tour-level matches in 2019.

Even Saturday — when she declared she’s “feeling better” and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, said the 37-year-old American “doesn’t have pain anymore” — Williams let out a chuckle when she proclaimed, “I’ve had a good week and a half.”

And yet, on the other hand, as Williams put it with a wry smile, “I know how to play tennis.”

This is, after all, a seven-time champion and three-time runner-up, including last year, on the grass at Wimbledon. She also is the owner of 23 Grand Slam singles trophies, more than anyone else in the professional era and one shy of equaling Margaret Court’s record for the most in tennis history.

Williams started practicing in the middle of last week, starting with about a half-hour on court on Day 1 and working her way up to a couple of hours, plus gym time, by Day 4. She could get a chance to ease into things: Her first-round opponent is qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone, who will be making her Wimbledon debut. Next might come another qualifier.

Then things should get more interesting. In the third round, Williams could face No. 18 seed Julia Goerges, her semifinal opponent a year ago. Get past her, and defending champion Angelique Kerber might be waiting. Get through that test, and No. 1 Ash Barty could be next.

— Howard Fendrich, Associated Press

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