Serena Williams triumphant alongside Ons Jabeur in return to court

Ons Jabeur (left) and Serena Williams (right) played in Eastbourne on Tuesday. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Serena Williams’ return to the court was a success, with her and Ons Jabeur edging out Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo 2-6, 6-3 [13-11] in their doubles match.

It was Williams’ first tour-level match in almost a year after she went down with an injury during the first round of Wimbledon in 2021.

“It was so fun to play with Ons,” Williams said on court after the win. “It was great, we had a lot of fun, and our opponents played amazing! We were just trying to stay in there after the first set.”

The two could be seen having fun together, with Williams even stunned by Jabeur’s dropshot.

After dropping the first set, the duo found their groove. Williams fired off a number of winners to put her and Jabeur up 5-3. Afterward, Williams said she “needed that” in reference to her firing off the wins.

The match then went to tiebreak, where the two had a couple of match points disappear before they succeeded on the third.

Afterward, Williams said she’s taking it one day at a time. She announced her return to tennis just last week with a wildcard status at Wimbledon.

“I definitely felt good out there and I was talking with Ons in the first set and I said, ‘We’re not playing bad, they really played really good in that set,’” Williams said. “But obviously winning and getting more balls and playing a little bit more made us feel a lot better and it definitely felt reassuring, like, OK, it’s clicking in practice and now it seems like it’s clicking.”

Elsewhere in Eastbourne, No. 1 seed Paula Badosa was knocked out 4-6, 3-6 by wildcard Jodie Burrage. It was Burrage’s first match win against a top 50 player.