Serena Williams withdraws from Eastbourne due to injury to doubles partner Ons Jabeur

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Serena Williams has been forced to withdraw from the Rothesay International at Eastbourne due to an injury to her doubles partner Ons Jabeur.

Williams had been playing in her first tournament in 12 months but will now focus on her Wimbledon preparations after receiving a wildcard for the singles draw.

Williams and Jabeur, the world No 3 in singles, made it two wins out of two on Wednesday with a straight sets victory over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching and had reached the semi-finals.

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But the pair, dubbed ‘Onserena’ after forging an entertaining partnership, will not feature again this week after Jabeur suffered a knee injury during their second-round win.

The 23-time grand slam champion Williams will make her singles return in the first round at the All England Club next week, in what will be her first match in almost a year since injuring her hamstring at last year’s tournament.

“I feel good,” the 40-year-old said after playing consecutive matches. “As good as one can feel after having such a long time off. I was telling Ons. This was a really good match and the second set in particular, they played really well, but we were able to just play different circumstances.

“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.”

The team of Magda Linette and Aleksandra Krunic will advance to Saturday’s final.