It wasn’t quite the day Serena Williams had anticipated Wednesday.
She lost in the second round of the Eastbourne Championships, falling to top-seeded Vera Zvonareva 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 as she returned this week from a nearly year layoff due to injury and life-threatening blood clots. But the 13-time Grand Slam champion, ranked 26th, also found out Wednesday she has been awarded a seventh seed for upcoming Wimbledon.
That is huge for the defending Wimbledon champion, who last played when she won Wimbledon last summer and suffered a cut foot that led to blood clots in her lungs. Still the day was a little bitter sweet for the ultra-competitive Williams sister.
“It was a good two matches for me,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier with the amount of tennis I played so it’s good, just keep going.
“I haven’t played in almost a year so I’m a little sore. But it’s good that I’m sore now because hopefully next week I won’t be as sore. [The foot] is holding up really well and I’m just really excited about that.”
Williams showed her usual grit and fight in her match with Zvonareva that lasted 3 hours and 12 minutes, but there were obvious signs of rust. Zvonareva, currently ranked third in the world, had only beaten Williams once in seven previous tries. Ironically, Williams defeated Zvonareva in the championship round of last year’s Wimbledon before going on the long hiatus.
But Wednesday the Russian got the better of Williams. For Williams, however, it was more about taking a step in the right direction and getting her game fine tuned in preparation for Wimbledon.
“I know I can do better,” Williams said. “I can improve and I’m so close to being there, it’s good.”
Information used in this report was obtained from the Associated Press.
(Photo: AP Photo/Sang Tan)