Wwelcome to our live coverage of Serena Williams’ Wimbledon return, with the 23-time grand slam winner taking center stage on Center Court against Harmony Tan for a second-round spot.
Williams has been given a wild card to compete for a record 24th major title at the All England Club, after being sidelined for nearly a year with injury.
The 40-year-old last played a competitive game at Center Court during the tournament last year, when she was forced to retire in the first round due to a hamstring problem.
She has just two doubles matches at Eastbourne to her name and will advance to the third major of the year, where she will face the Frenchwoman. However, Williams says she was pleased Wimbledon broke with tradition and allowed players to practice on the iconic Center Court to avoid a repeat of slips on the lush green grass that marred last year’s tournament.
“Obviously I was super happy to be there and get that opportunity. It was also good for me to get that out of my system because the last moment I had on Center Court was probably not my best moment,” said Williams.
“Since the game there was always something I thought about. So there was a huge motivation for that.
“You never want a game to end like this, it’s a real shame. But it was definitely something that has always been on my mind.”
We will be posting game-by-game updates from this encounter plus post-match comments in this blog.
You can also keep up to date with what’s happening on SW19 today on our other live blog, including highlights from Rafael Nadal’s first round match.
The players should be on the pitch soon and then there will be the usual hit-up before the match gets serious.