Thursday 21 February 2019

Tennis: Serena: I'm ready!

Defending champion Serena Williams will head to Wimbledon in high spirits but Kim Clijsters will not venture to SW19 at all and British teenager Laura Robson will be there without a permanent coach.

A dramatic Wednesday saw Williams lose an absorbing three-set tussle with Vera Zvonareva in Eastbourne but emerge with mostly positive thoughts after competing in her first tournament since winning Wimbledon last year, after injury and health problems.

Clijsters, who had just been announced as the second seed, had to withdraw from Wimbledon after undergoing tests on the ankle she injured at the UNICEF Open in Holland on Tuesday.

Returning to action after a foot injury caused by broken glass, and a blood clot which could have been life-threatening, 29-year-old Williams eventually lost 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-5.

The American, who beat Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round, felt one or two points changed the match against Zvonareva.

"So it's not overly disappointing," she said. "It's just the fact I just kept missing short balls.

"It was a good two matches for me. I couldn't be happier with the amount of tennis that I've played."

Williams' sister Venus did reach the Eastbourne quarter-finals as she powered past Ana Ivanovic, winning 6-3 6-2.

Clijsters, the 28-year-old reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, was upset to be told her injury would keep her out of Wimbledon, a tournament she is longing to win before retiring at the end of 2012.

"At this moment I feel frustrated that it has to happen now before one of my favourite tournaments," she said.

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