Legendary tennis champion Serena Williams has returned to the court. After 12 months absence due to injury, it was thought the 23-time Grand Slam winner might retire.
But the US player appeared at Eastbourne International last week and returned to Wimbledon this week as a wildcard.
Williams faced France’s Harmony Tan – current world 115 – in an epic first round of the tournament, but was knocked out 5-7 6-1 6-7.
Reacting to the loss, she said: “I gave all I could do. Maybe tomorrow I could have given more. Maybe a week ago I could have given more. But today was what I could do."
While playing, the 40-year-old was noticed with plasters on her cheek. Here’s why she was wearing them.
Why is Serena Williams wearing plasters on her face?
During matches, Serena Williams has been wearing large black plasters or medical tape on her face.
According to The Times, this is due to a longstanding sinus problem the player has. The tape is meant to relieve pressure and pain from the condition.
Serena Williams previously spoke about having sinus issues in 2007.
She said: “I’m a sinus sufferer. Playing tennis or pretty much doing anything every day is not easy when you have sinuses. You feel a lot of pressure, congestion and pain and training for grand slams...it’s not easy.”
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is the swelling of the sinuses, which are empty spaces behind your cheeks connecting to the nose.
When the lining of these spaces swells, it prevents mucus draining in your nose and throat correctly.
The NHS advises mild sinusitis sufferers to clean the nose with a salt water solution, or purchase a decongestant nasal spray from a pharmacist.
However, you should speak to your GP if your symptoms are severe and do not improve after a week.
How many times has Serena Williams won at Wimbledon?
Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won more grand slams than any Open Era player – male or female.
She has lifted the Wimbledon trophy seven times in her career, which has spanned for more than 20 years.
The veteran was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon 2021 after suffering a torn hamstring while playing on centre court.
This was her 21st appearance at the world famous tournament. Following Tuesday’s loss, Williams was asked if this would be her final appearance at Wimbledon.
She said: “That's a question I can't answer. I don't know. Who knows where I'll pop up?"