Exclusive: Tim Henman’s prediction as Serena Williams returns at Wimbledon
Serena Williams will have to wait until Tuesday to play her first singles match in 12 months after she limped out of Wimbledon last year and into what many believed would be tennis retirement.
Yet the 40-year-old is making a return at Wimbledon and former British No.1 Tim Henman has told Tennis365 that Williams remains a threat on a grass court if she is physically fit enough to get through the two-week event.
“It doesn’t matter how great you are, it’s hard when you haven’t played tournaments,” Henman told us at a Vodafone Play Your Way To Wimbledon event.
“I’m sure he has been practicing hard and you talk about a few of the dangerous floaters at Wimbledon and no one is going to want to play Andy Murray in the first round and no one is going to want to play Serena Williams in the first round.”
Serena spoke to the media at Wimbledon on Saturday and made it clear that she is setting her sights high as she returns to action.
Williams’ prolific Instagram account has instead been full of her business ventures and showbiz lifestyle, with promotion of ‘King Richard’, the Oscar-winning film about her childhood, as well as her role as mother to four-year-old Olympia.
“A part of me feels like that is a little bit more of my life now than tournaments,” she said.
“When you do have a venture company, you do have to go all-in. It definitely takes literally all my extra time. And it’s fun. I’m currently out of office for the next few weeks so, if you email me, you’ll get the nice ‘out of office’ reply.
“Everyone knows that I’ll be back in a few weeks. But it’s good. I absolutely love what I do. I love investing in companies.
“And then the Oscars was really fun, just the whole tour of that whole moment was incredible to be a part of such an amazing movie. It was something that you don’t think about. At best you think of winning grand slams, not being nominated for an Oscar for a film that you produce.”
Henman spoke to Tennis365 at a Play Your Way to Wimbledonevent, the UK’s largest grassroots tennis competition and is delivered in partnership with the LTA, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club and Vodafone.
The competition looks to inspire the next generation of tennis talent; allowing junior players to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and compete for a chance to play on Wimbledon’s iconic courts.
From 2023, the LTA and The All-England Lawn Tennis Club are planning for the competition to expand further, through the introduction of additional age groups and disability categories, which Vodafone is proud to support, whilst helping to encourage more kids to pick up a tennis racket.
“This is a massively exciting opportunity to encourage youngsters to get involved in the game, with 15,000 kids involved and the best ones getting a chance to play at Wimbledon,” added Henman. “This is a great opportunity to bring young people into our sport and I’m excited to be a part of it.
“Tennis is a happy, healthy outdoor activity and it is a great way to meet people and have fun.”
Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone is the UK’s largest grassroots tennis competition and is delivered in partnership with the LTA, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club and Vodafone.
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