One of the star attractions this year is the return of 23 time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams.
It will be Williams’ first competitive action after the 40-year-old American made a tearful exit in the first round of Wimbledon 12 months ago after retiring during the first set due to a leg injury and doubts have been growing about whether she would return.
When does Serena play?
Williams is due for her first official practice at Devonshire Park at 1.30pm today.
She will then make her return to competitive tennis on Tuesday where she has been given a wild card into the doubles with Tunisian Ons Jabeur. The duo will be up against Sara Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzková on Tuesday afternoon on centre court, with the start time to be confirmed.
“I am excited to return to Eastbourne in England and to be back on the grass – a surface that has been so good to me throughout my career.
“Eastbourne has a unique charm that you don’t see anywhere else on tour and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.”
What her rivals said
Karolina Pliskova – last year’s Wimbledon finalist said: “It is a long time and she is not the youngest any more so I suppose the body also takes some time to get back into shape. “Playing matches at tournaments is still very much different to just practising and from what I understand she is not playing (singles) here, she is just playing doubles.
“I think it will be super difficult for her no matter which kind of player she is because this is a thing where you still need some time.”
Spanish player Paula Badosa said
World number three Badosa most recently beat Williams at the 2019 Australian Open.
“I think it surprised everyone but it’s very good to have her back. It really amazes me how she has all this hunger for the game,” Badosa said of Williams. “It is a great inspiration. It is nice to have her back and I hope she can be back for much more time because I think she does very good for tennis.
“But the other side, of course I don’t want to play against her! I hope the draw goes for another player because no one wants to play against Serena and less on grass. Let’s pray for that!”
The Brits are also well represented at Eastbourne with Dan Evans, Ryan Peniston, Jack Draper, Cam Norrie, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter all in action throughout the week. Rising star Jack Draper is due on centre court today (Monday) where he will face American Jenson Brooksby after 3.30pm.
Is Eastbourne Tennis week on TV?
Yes. You can watch the Rothesay International Eastbourne live across the BBC and on Amazon Prime Sport.
How to get tickets?