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Williams plans to play at Australian Open

Serena Williams says the hamstring injury that forced her out of Wimbledon in the first round is “better” and she plans to play at the 2022 Australian Open.

The site of her last grand slam crown in 2017 will be Williams’ next chance to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 career slam titles.

The 40-year-old tore her hamstring while playing Aliaksandra Sasnovich at SW19 in June and recounted the injury in an appearance Thursday on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“I was actually winning and I went for a shot and I heard this noise and I was like ‘oh no’,” Williams said. “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.”

The injury kept Williams out of the US Open, where she has not won since 2014 but reached the semi-finals in 2020 and the final in 2018 and 2019.

While disappointed to miss her home slam, which she has won six times, Williams told Kimmel her recovery is on track and she “definitely” expects to play in Australia in January.

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

Williams is a seven-time champion in Melbourne, the most of any woman in the open era.

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