Australian Billie Jean King Cup captain Alicia Molik is thrilled to see Serena Williams returning to action as she feels the 23-time Grand Slam champion is still the player everyone wants to beat. This week, Williams revealed her plans to compete at Wimbledon.
Williams, now ranked outside the top-1000 in the world, hasn't played since retiring her Wimbledon first round match 12 months ago. "I'm a big Serena fan, and I follow her on Instagram, and I hadn't seen any tennis posts, so it surprised me as well," Molik told the Australian Open website.
Molik: Players will be 'desperate' to beat Williams
Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam champion and Wimbledon has always been a great place for her. At The All England Club, Williams has seven victories and Molik has underlined that the American can never be underestimated at Wimbledon.
"She's a very commanding presence at the best of times, let alone somewhere that she's won seven times. On the grass, I don't know what it is about Wimbledon, but she just steps up a gear," Molik noted.
"Because of the silence of the crowds there, more than any other slam, her power and the grunt is magnified. You feel like you're in a bit of a colosseum when you play against her." Williams hasn't played in 12 months, but Molik feels players will still be extremely motivated to beat the American.
"She's not the No.1 player in the world anymore, but whoever she draws will be desperate to beat her, because it's still Serena. Unfortunately for her, everyone is going to be gunning for her. A win over Serena is still a win over Serena," Molik said.
"I hope she enjoys it; you can put so much pressure on yourself after not competing for a year." Williams will make her return to action next week in Eastbourne, where she plans to team up with Ons Jabeur.