In Wake Of Woozy Wimbledon, Serena Williams Set To Return At Swedish Open

Tennis superstar Serena Williams, who made headlines last Tuesday by leaving Wimbledon looking disoriented, has signed up to appear July 14 at the Swedish Open.

Williams will play in the singles category in the clay-court tournament in Bastad, Sweden, which will be just before the start of the US Open hard-court tournament two weeks from now.

Some, like ESPN’s Melissa Isaacson, wonder whether it might be the end for Williams, the holder of 11 major titles:

“She’s still the champion,” says Isaacson. “She’s still No. 1. I don’t want to write her off and say she should ride off into the sunset, but clearly she’s the most vulnerable she’s ever been.”

What happened? Before her doubles match, during warm-ups, Williams couldn’t catch balls thrown by ball girls or make correct contact with the ball. When she did make contact, it was obvious her sense of aim had severely deteriorated. It was like watching an expert marksman shoot himself in the foot.

Williams’ camp talked of a viral illness after the three listless games during Wimbledon. The legendary Martina Navratilova, who won nine Wimbledon titles, told ESPN that it seems like something more than that:

“I find it distressing. I think virus, whatever they’re saying it was, I don’t think that was it. I think it’s clear that’s not the case. I don’t know what it is, but I hope Serena will be OK. And most of all, I don’t know how she ended up walking onto the court.”

Some think she was disconsolate after losing in the singles bracket to France’s Alize Cornet in the third round. According to a statement released by The Guardian, Serena was “heartbroken” after the loss, in addition to the fact that “this bug just got the best of me.”

Perhaps what Serena needed was rest. Here’s a picture of her in slumber mode at the apartment she and Venus rented during Wimbledon that she posted to Instagram:

Serena Williams Is Sleeping

Her agent, Jill Smoller, told The Guardian that Serena is “getting better” with rest.

Perhaps she could use some cheering up. Maybe she should be reminded that her words and actions have inspired young athletes across the globe, like these:

“I’m not used to crying. It’s a little difficult. All my life I’ve had to fight. It’s just another fight I’m going to have to learn how to win, that’s all. I’m just going to have to keep smiling.”

On July 14, the world will be watching for its strongest serve to return.

[Image courtesy of Kevware]