Williams is making a long-awaited return to the All England club as the 40-year-old took another shot to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam wins.
The American has only played two competitive matches – both doubles with Eastbourne International’s Ons Jaber – as she suffered a hamstring injury at last year’s Wimbledon but is back on the wildcard.
Three years ago, Williams, who reached the women’s singles final at Wimbledon, lost to Simona Halep. Six years ago, she was the oldest champion, having beaten Angelique Kerber, although this time the challenge for the honor seems like a long shot for her.
This is partly due to the remarkable form of top-ranked Sweetek, who has led the SW19 behind a 35-match winning streak.
Paul was not born when Williams made his Wimbledon debut in 1998, but she was a junior champion at the All England Club in 2018 and has won the French Open twice since. Her goal is to become the first woman to win two singles slams in a single season since Kerber in 2016.
Still, Sweetech is terrified of Williams.
“I saw him yesterday, I was so overwhelmed,” Sweetek told a news conference Saturday.
“I didn’t know how to react. I wanted to meet him. I saw that there were a lot of people around him. I don’t know his team. It was very strange.
“But it’s great to see him around us because he’s a veteran who hasn’t done much in tennis.
“I am sure she will be in a good position as she has a lot of experience coming back from the break or playing in the Grand Slam. I think she can use it. “
Sweetek has never progressed beyond the fourth round of the Wimbledon singles and will have her first participation of the season on Grass when she fights Jan Fet on Tuesday.
“Honestly, I still think I need to find grass,” she said. “Last year, of course, it was a competition where I didn’t know what to expect.
“Then match by match I realized that maybe I could do more.
“I didn’t have much time to prepare. But I’m just trying to be open and take positivity from the situation and I think I can play without any expectations. “
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