Williams is set to play in the doubles event alongside Ons Jabeur at the Eastbourne International as she begins her preparations for the third Major of the year.
In a conversation with Racquet, Jabeur recalled a particular interaction with the American and how they conversed in French.
“We talked to each other a few times. She’s very nice, especially when she was with her daughter. I was trying to speak French a little with her; she could speak really good French. And we had a moment when she was pregnant. I said, “Congratulations,” and she said, “Thank you, Ons.” And I was like, “You know my name? Really? You know I exist?” So it’s great. I’ve practiced with Venus more, never with Serena; hopefully we will get our first practice next week,” Jabeur said.
The World No. 4 also spoke about the circumstances of how this alliance came about as the coaches of both players brought this idea together.
“My coach, he’s in contact with her coach, Eric [Hechtman]. And yeah, I mean, “Would I play doubles with Serena?” I mean, obviously the answer was yes. She was coming back; I didn’t know where. I wasn’t sure, actually, to play at Eastbourne. But now I’m 100 percent sure I will go, just for doubles,” Jabeur said.
Jabeur also joked about how her performance in Madrid earlier this year is what convinced Williams to pick her as the doubles partner. She said that she will try her best when playing alongside Serena Williams.
“I hope she was, yeah. [Laughs] I mean, I’m pretty lucky that she picked me, and I’m going to try to be 100 percent on the court, and serve like Andy Roddick, make volleys like the Bryans, just trying to be really good on court,” Jabeur said.
Serena Williams to make a long-awaited return to action
The wait for Serena Williams’ impending return to action is nearly over. The former World No. 1’s participation at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships was confirmed on Tuesday. At the grass Slam last year, she suffered an ankle injury in her opening match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Due to her prolonged absence from the tour, her ranking has dropped down to World No.1208. The 23-time Grand Slam champion received a wildcard entry for WImbledon and Williams took to social media to confirm her particiation at SW19.
She has also received a wildcard entry to the Eastbourne International, making it only the third time she has participated in the event, with the first two being in 1998 and 2011.
While the 40-year-old will be in pursuit of her 24th Major title at the Championships, she will not gain any ranking points after the ATP and WTA stripped the tournament of its points following the ban on Russian and Belarusian players.