2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has made it clear that Serena Williams can never be underestimated at Wimbledon. Williams, 40, brought an invite to Wimbledon as she plans to return to competition after a 12-month absence.
Williams is a seven-time Wimbledon champion, but some doubt she can go far at the All England Club this year. In the summer of 2016, Roger Federer underwent knee surgery. When Federer returned in 2017, he was highly doubted, but he went on to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon that year.
Then, in early 2018, Federer defended his Australian Open crown. "I don't believe it, the debates remind me of when Federer came back in 2017. No one thought he was going to win Grand Slams again, and yet he won 3," Bartoli said on the Les Grandes Gueules du Sport podcast, cited by Sportskeeda.
"If he is in good physical shape, he can absolutely go for a result. He has a lot of margin compared to the others," added Bartoli. Barbara Schett, who works for Eurosport as a tennis expert, acknowledged that turning 40 is never ideal, but she did stress one thing: Williams is a big name and no one will want to play her.
"I think if you're out a whole year, it's very difficult because you don't play any games," Schett said. "Even if you just practice a lot. It's not the same. But one thing is for sure, no one wants to play Serena Williams, so the other 127 players are going to be scared to play Serena Williams.
Federer will turn 41 in August
Renowned American journalist Steve Flink appeared on an episode of the Court-Side with Beilinson Tennis podcast and spoke about Roger Federer's impending return to action. "It’s so commendable in one sense because he’s about to turn 41 in the summer, so the major part of his comeback would be launched as he approaches 42.
It’s asking a lot himself, but I think he remembers last year when he had such bad preparation and he played the French and he had to pull out after winning a few matches, to protect himself, to protect the knee, played a grass court event and Felix destroyed him, yet he still got to the quarters at Wimbledon," Flink said.
"I'm not betting either way, I suspect he is going to give it a go next year and if by Wimbledon next year, things are not turning and he lost early there or he felt he wasn’t up to it anymore, it’s no shame, but I actually do expect to see him out there unless there’s some kind of serious setback when he plays laver Cup in Basel but if things go reasonably well physically there then I see him performing again next year," Flink concluded.