'Can't wait': Tennis fans erupt over Serena Williams announcement

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Serena Williams, pictured here with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Australian Open in 2017.
Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Australian Open in 2017. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Serena Williams has delighted tennis fans after announcing she will 'definitely' be back in action for the Australian Open in January.

The 23-time grand slam champion hasn't played since she was forced to retire hurt in the opening round at Wimbledon in July.

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Williams slipped on the centre court grass in the opening set and injured her hamstring before retiring in tears.

The 40-year-old subsequently skipped the US Open and won't play again in 2021.

However she sent fans into a frenzy this week with a positive update, telling Jimmy Kimmel she will 'definitely' be back for the first grand slam of 2022 in Melbourne.

“The hamstring is better. It took a long time, it took forever, but it’s much better now,” she said.

Williams also opened up about her heartbreak at missing the US Open.

“It was sad to miss that one,” she said. 

“It was really sad, I had the most awesome outfit too, I put in extra effort to try to make it but it didn’t work out.”

Serena Williams, pictured here with husband Alexis Ohanian at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Serena Williams with husband Alexis Ohanian at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

On the way she suffered her injury at Wimbledon, Williams said: “I was actually winning and I went for a shot and I heard this noise and I was like ‘oh no’.

“I felt it but I felt like ‘OK, let me just keep trying’, but it was bad and I was like, ‘oh man’.

“I love the grass, it’s something special walking out at Wimbledon, wearing all white and being on the green grass (but) it just wasn’t for me this year.”

Fans were overjoyed to hear Williams will be back in time for the Australian Open.

Serena Williams stranded on 23 grand slam titles

The Australian Open will present Williams with her latest chance to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

The 40-year-old hasn't won a major since the 2017 Australian Open, finishing runner-up on four occasions since.

Even after taking time out that year to have her baby daughter Olympia, she was expected to return as dominant as ever and break Court's record.

But it hasn't happened that way with Williams reaching four finals - two at Wimbledon (2018, 2019) and two at the US Open (2018, 2019) - and falling short every time.

But coach Patrick Mouratoglou insists it's just a question of time before Williams returns to dominance.

"If the US Open happened in three weeks instead of next week, it would have been possible," he said about her withdrawal.

"You have a new deal in tennis, it's that champions can play longer, over 35, thanks to their unprecedented professionalism.

"Nevertheless, it's still a race against the clock."

American great Pam Shriver recently said she doubts Williams will be able to recover easily from too many more injuries.

“Obviously she’s reaching a point where, with what we saw at the Wimbledon, with the slip, the injury, she couldn’t finish Wimbledon," Shriver said.

"She’s getting to a point where, physically, obviously, she is walking that fine line, where it’s almost one injury away from not being able to continue on and that’s gonna be a difficult day for tennis and obviously for her."

with agencies

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