Reuters: Former world number one Chris Evert said she would be shocked if Serena Williams retained her Wimbledon crown this year although she stopped short of ruling her fellow American out of contention. Williams returned on Tuesday with a scratchy first-round victory over Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova at Eastbourne -- her first match for nearly a year because of a badly cut foot and serious health issues.
“It would be monumental in my mind if Serena pulled off a win (at Wimbledon),” Evert said in a conference call.
“You can never count her out. But I don’t know how it’s humanly possible for someone to take a year off like that and have gone through what she’s been through physically ... and (has only had) a one-tournament warmup. “She’s playing Eastbourne and hopefully if she gets through the first week of Wimbledon she’ll have that two weeks behind her. But is that enough? I don’t think it is,” added Evert who will be commentating on the third grand slam of the year for ESPN.
“But knowing Serena and the way she’s come back before, you can never count her out.” Evert, who won 18 grand slam titles and had a great rivalry with Martina Navratilova in the 1970s and 1980s, said having the Williams sisters back for Wimbledon was great for women’s tennis.