Former seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe says Serena Williams could lose early at Wimbledon or end up lifting the title. Williams, 40, is a seven-time Wimbledon champion but she hasn't played a singles match since retiring her Wimbledon first round match 12 months ago.
In the Wimbledon first round, Williams faces France's Harmony Tan. “I would only say that I think she could lose in the first round or win the tournament,” McEnroe told ESPN. Chris Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam champion, suggested it would be a bit unfair to put big expectations on Williams since she hasn't played a singles match in 12 months.
This week, Williams and her partner Ons Jabeur won two doubles matches in Eastbourne before the Tunisian was forced to pull out due to an injury.
Evert: Hard to assess how Williams is going to play in singles
“I think you can’t expect a whole lot because she’s not match-tough.
I think that when you don’t play for a long time, your instincts, it takes a while for your tennis instincts and your tennis IQ to come back,” Evert said. “It’s hard to really assess how she’s going to play in singles just because you see her playing doubles.
I can’t tell how the movement is from side to side, from up to back. The serve looks good. The power is there”. A lot has changed since Williams last played as Iga Swiatek is now the face of the women's game and several players have broken into the top-10 for the first time in their careers.
“I’m excited for the tournament that she’s playing. But, you know, it’s a question mark. All the other players have gotten better over the last year. When you look at [Iga] Swiatek, Jabeur, some of the players that can challenge the top or can win Grand Slams.
I’m always thinking you have to have low expectations. If anything great happens, that makes it all the better," Evert added.