Tracy Austin: Serena Williams has the right to play whenever and wherever she wants

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Tracy Austin: Serena Williams has the right to play whenever and wherever she wants

Former world No. 1 Tracy Austin feels Serena Williams was intrigued by the idea of playing at least one more Wimbledon as the American tennis legend says she happy to see the 23-time Grand Slam champion returning to action.

Williams, 40, sustained a hamstring injury during her Wimbledon first round match a year ago as her 2021 campaign at The Championships ended with a retirement. After spending 12 months at home recovering physically and mentally, Williams accepted a wildcard into Wimbledon.

Williams is a true icon at The All England Club, having won Wimbledon seven times. "I think the draw of playing at least one more Wimbledon is really what encouraged her to come back and play," Austin said on Tennis Channel, per Sportskeeda.

"Is it a little too late? (She has played) just two doubles matches before coming into Wimbledon. She has a decent draw, we talked about that yesterday. She has the right to play whenever, wherever, and how often she wants to play.

We're just happy she's back."

Austin, Jan-Michael Gambill on Williams' comeback

In the first round, Williams faces France's Harmony Tan. Tan is ranked outside the top-100 and many feel Williams will have a strong chance of winning that match.

"It's just something wonderful seeing her back on the court," Gambill said. "I do think that Harmony Tan in the first round is a winnable match certainly for her, it's a good first round. She dropped that little hint with the grass thing that she's maybe going to play at Wimbledon.

We'd love to see her play at the US Open as well, obviously. But it's just great to see her back out there and who knows what she can accomplish when she steps foot on the court. She can draw on a lot of amazing experience."

Even though Williams hasn't played singles in 12 months, tennis pundits and players feel the American can't be underestimated at Wimbledon.