Serena Williams remains coy about her future after Wimbledon exit: ‘Who knows where I’ll pop up’

Serena Williams in action

She felt good physically and there are “lots of motivation to get better and play” at the US Open, but Serena Williams admits she is not sure what the future holds in terms of playing competitive tennis.

After a full year on the sidelines due to injury and a lack of commitment, the tennis great made her singles return in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday after accepting a wildcard.

Having played only two doubles warm-up matches in the lead-up to the grass-court Grand Slam, it was always going to be a tough ask for the 23-time Grand Slam winner as she looked rusty and committed several errors.

Yet her clash against Harmony Tan was engrossing, but she ultimately went down 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) in three hours and 10 minutes.

After the match she was non-committal about her future, saying: “Like I said coming into this, I’m just planning for right now, seeing

Asked if it was her farewell at the All England Club, Williams added: “That’s a question I can’t answer. I don’t know. Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up.”

World No 115 Tan, playing in her first match at Wimbledon, adopted the perfect game plan against the 40-year-old with her drop shots forcing the American to do a lot of running.

Williams had a 4-0 lead in the deciding tie-breaker before the Frenchwoman stormed back.

“I think physically I did pretty good,” said Williams. “I think the last couple of points, I was really suffering there.

“But I feel like in just those key points, winning some of those points, is always something mentally that you kind of need. I did pretty good on maybe one or two of them, but obviously not enough.”

She added: “Today I gave all I could do. Maybe tomorrow I could have given more. Maybe a week ago I could have given more. But today was what I could do. At some point, you have to be able to be OK with that.”

The US Open is the next Grand Slam on the calendar with the tournament getting underway at Flushing Meadows in August.

Will we see the great Serena Williams in action at her home Slam?

“It definitely makes me want to hit the practice courts,” she said. “I feel that it’s actually kind of like, ‘OK, Serena, you can do this if you want’.

“When you’re at home, especially in New York, and the US Open, that being the first place I’ve won a Grand Slam, is something that’s always super special. There’s definitely lots of motivation to get better and to play at home.”