Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur win again to advance to Eastbourne semi-finals

Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur defeated Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching in straight sets to advance to the Rothesay International Eastbourne doubles semi-finals; Williams is playing in her first tournament since Wimbledon 2021, where she dropped out in the first round due to injury

Last update: 22/06/22 21:16

Serena Williams (L) and Ons Jabeur in action at Eastbourne

Serena Williams made it two from two on her 12-month comeback after she and new doubles partner Ons Jabeur secured a 6-2 6-4 win over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching at Eastbourne on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old returned to action at the Rothesay International Eastbourne on Tuesday almost a year after injuring her right leg at Wimbledon, and despite a rusty start she showed flashes of her genius.

Williams stepped things up a day later with an array of winners and aces to send a warning to her rivals ahead of a final chase for a 24th Grand Slam title.

It took just two minutes for the American to send an ace and several minutes of volleys later provided the first break.

More followed, with the opening set completed in 25 minutes to the delight of those still inside center court with the rapid sunset.

Shadows had engulfed the Devonshire Park site by then, but Aoyama and Chan had more of a procedural fight in the second.

Williams had to defend a number of break points on serve and yet showed the type of steel that made her a fierce competitor for nearly three decades.

Another winner from the veteran set up a break point in the ninth game of the second and it gave the new-look doubles team a chance to close within a game of the last four.

One more ace for Williams’ tally helped her over the line with Jabeur and they are just two wins away from claiming silverware.

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“I think we played a lot better together today, although I felt we played really well together yesterday. Ons really helped me play so well,” Williams said on the pitch.

Asked how she celebrated yesterday, the seven-time Wimbledon champion joked that she went for a swim.

Williams said with a smile: “I went to the beach and swam like everyone here in the cold water…no, no way. I didn’t do much. I just played with my baby (Olympia). She’s so much fun.”

Jabeur and Williams are due to return to Devonshire Park on Thursday for their final meeting.

“I didn’t know we were in the semi-finals. It’s super fast but it’s great for us,” Jabeur said.

Sky Sports

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