Serena Williams created a stir in the tennis world by announcing her participation at this year’s Wimbledon, and tennis analyst Brad Gilbert believes the WTA players are now a little more worried about their placement in the draw.
Speaking to NBC News Now, Gilbert expressed his excitement at the prospect of seeing Williams compete again while suggesting that other players in the draw will be worried.
“It’s great to have Serena back. It’s been 12 months since she played at Wimbledon and got hurt,” said Gilbert. “Now, 127 other women are going to be extremely worried about the draw when it comes out next Thursday, potentially seeing her unseeded.
“But I think it’s a great move for her that next week at Eastbourne, she’s going to play doubles with Ons Jabeur to get some practice on grass. I’m sure there’s going to be some nervous women.”
Williams has won the Wimbledon Championships seven times in the past. When asked if she could add an eighth title to her cabinet after a long lay-off, Gilbert said that for Williams, it’s about getting started and that her draw will play a vital role.
“I would say her chances depend upon the draw,” he added. ” She could play the number one seed in the first round. I think more than anything, if she gets a decent draw, it’s about getting a couple of wins, getting some confidence, and giving herself the opportunity to get to the second week. It’s not about winning it at first, it’s about getting started
“I think it’s a great start for her to play doubles and get a couple of matches, but most importantly, it’s going to be how her body reacts when you haven’t played matches in a year, how she feels the day after getting a win.”