Serena's Wimbledon lead up cut short

Staff WritersAP
Serena Williams (L) celebrates with doubles partner Ons Jabeur after their Eastbourne win.
Camera IconSerena Williams (L) celebrates with doubles partner Ons Jabeur after their Eastbourne win. Credit: AP

Serena Williams' return to tennis in Eastbourne has been cut short after doubles partner Ons Jabeur withdrew from the tournament because of a knee injury.

The 40-year-old Williams has played her first two competitive matches at the Wimbledon lead up event since limping out of Wimbledon in tears last summer with a hamstring problem.

Williams and Tunisian Jabeur made it through to the semi-finals with a narrow victory over Maria Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo and then a more convincing one against Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching.

But the American will now turn her attention to a much greater test at the All England Club next week, where she has taken a wild card into the women's singles as she continues her pursuit of a record-equalling 24th grand slam title.

Speaking after Wednesday's match, Williams said: "I feel good. As good as one can feel after having such a long time off.

"It was actually good match play and match practice, which is exactly what I needed and what I wanted to do coming here, so I couldn't have asked for more."

Williams, who is unseeded at Wimbledon, will find out who she faces in the first round when the draw is made on Friday morning.

In the Eastbourne women's singles, Beatriz Haddad Maia stayed on course for a third grass-court title in three weeks by ending the hopes of British wildcard Jodie Burrage 6-1 6-2 in the second round.

Jelena Ostapenko continued the defence of her title by also advancing to the quarter-finals after Madison Keys retired, having lost the first set 6-3.

Other players into the last eight were two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Camila Giorgi.

Meanwhile in the Bad Homburg tournament, champion Angelique Kerber maintained her perfect record to reach the quarter-finals with a win over Italy's Lucia Bronzetti.

The 2018 Wimbledon champion won 6-2 6-3 and is still unbeaten in the second edition of the tournament, with seven wins.

On Thursday, she will meet Alize Cornet from France in the quarter-finals.

Canada's former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu will meet top seed Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals after a 6-4 6-4 win over Briton Katie Swan.

Fourth seed Simona Halep also made the last eight with 6-0 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek and will meet Amanda Anisimova, who beat Ann Li 6-0 6-2.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails