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Serena Williams: Tennis great 'ready to hit some balls again' as she hints at comeback

Serena Williams announced she would be "evolving away from tennis" following the US Open in 2022, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion has now hinted at a comeback on social media; you can watch Novak Djokovic in Geneva this week, exclusively live on Sky Sports Tennis

Serena Williams, of the United States, acknowledges the crowd after losing to Ajla Tomljanovic, of Austrailia, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Image: Serena Williams has hinted at a comeback to tennis

Tennis great Serena Williams has hinted at a comeback 18 months after "evolving away from tennis" saying on social media that she is "ready to hit some balls again".

Williams, 42, said she was "evolving away from tennis" in an essay to Vogue magazine in 2022, and, while she did not confirm the US Open as her farewell event, she was given lavish tributes before each match in New York and waved an emotional goodbye after losing in the third round to Ajla Tomljanovic.

"I am not retired," Williams said at a conference in San Francisco while promoting her investment company, Serena Ventures in October 2022. "The chances (of a return) are very high. You can come to my house, I have a court."

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who took the tennis world by storm as a teenager and is considered by many the greatest of all time, revealed at the time she was not preparing for a tournament after the US Open did not feel natural to her.

"I still haven't really thought about (retirement)," she said. "But I did wake up the other day and go on the court and (considered) for the first time in my life that I'm not playing for a competition, and it felt really weird.

"It was like the first day of the rest of my life and I'm enjoying it, but I'm still trying to find that balance."

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Serena Williams met Jannik Sinner at the Miami Open and shared what she likes about his game

Williams has been careful not to say the R-word, instead announcing she was "evolving" away from tennis.

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"I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn't feel like a modern word to me," Williams wrote in Vogue in August.

"I've been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.

"Maybe the best word to describe what I'm up to is evolution. I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me."

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Billie Jean King, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Andy Murray and Todd Martin discuss Serena Williams' legacy both on and off the court

Is a Serena comeback too late?

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A look back at the most memorable moments from Venus and Serena Williams' careers at the US Open

Sky Sports' Raz Mirza

The women's game, like Serena, has evolved in the 18 months since she departed the scene with Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina creating a new 'Big Four' and taking women's tennis to new heights.

If Serena were to make a comeback, she'd ideally need to be 100 per cent fit and ready to compete against the very best.

Her last Grand Slam singles title came back in 2017 but try and try as she did, the American could not equal 24-time Grand Slam winner Margaret Court.

Novak Djokovic winning a 24th major title at Roland Garros last year could act as extra motivation for Serena, who may well feel that her story can still have a fairy-tale ending.

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What's coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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