Why Serena Williams looks unlikely to go for a wildcard at Eastbourne

EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 15:  Serena Williams of USA rests between games against Vera Zvonareva of Russia during day five of the AEGON International at Devonshire Park on June 15, 2011 in Eastbourne, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) SUS-190306-141124002
EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Serena Williams of USA rests between games against Vera Zvonareva of Russia during day five of the AEGON International at Devonshire Park on June 15, 2011 in Eastbourne, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) SUS-190306-141124002

It looks increasingly unlikely Serena Williams will play at Eastbourne ahead of the Wimbledon Championships, a possibility she floated after her early exit at the French Open.

Williams, 37, previously played in Eastbourne in 2011 but has not contested a pre-Wimbledon event since.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner was keen to fine-tune her grass court game and it seemed Devonshire Park was being considered by her and her management team.

Speaking after the French Open she said, “I haven’t been able to be on the court as much as I would have. At least I can start trying to put the time in now.

“I have some time on my hands, so maybe I’ll jump in and get a wildcard on one of these grass-court events and see what happens.”

It is believed she turned down an invitation to play at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, and that no request for a wildcard into Eastbourne had been made. It’s not clear whether the decision was made due a persistent knee injury that has bothered her this season. It means she would go into Wimbledon having played only 12 matches this year.

Last weekend she was reported to have been a bridesmaid at the wedding of her close friend Caroline Wozniacki in Italy.