Tennis news | Serena Williams’ retirement prediction after Wimbledon loss, Kim Clijsters

Wimbledon is unlikely to see Serena Williams on its courts next year, according to tennis great Kim Clijsters, as the legendary American’s career draws to a close.

Almost exactly a year after her last competitive appearance – 364 days in total – Williams has pulled out of this year’s championship in the first round.

Following her loss to unranked French player Harmony Tan, the 23-time Grand Slam winner said she “cannot answer” whether she will return in the coming years.

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“I don’t know,” Williams said.

“Who knows where I will appear?

“I don’t know. We’re in the summer now, right in the swing.

“Like I said going into this, I’m just planning for now and seeing how I feel and just going from there.”

Clijsters, however, believes the 40-year-old’s time could be up on London’s iconic grass courts.

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Serena Williams has withdrawn from Wimbledon after a shock first-round defeat (Getty)

Speaking on Stan Sports’ Daily Grand Slamthe two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist rocked Williams’ retirement.

“I think so, right now, that’s where my intuition is leading me,” Clijsters said when asked if this was Williams’ last singles match on the hallowed turf.

“After leaving Wimbledon like she did last year with the injury, I think that’s not how she wants to leave Wimbledon. She would have loved to win a match here today.

“She definitely left everything behind [on the table]. The energy of the crowd was so amazing. The roof was closed, so it was even more intense.

“People love to see someone fight and give it their all and she definitely did that today.

“Amazing to see such a great champion fighting harder than anyone else today.”

Williams returned to the courts at Wimbledon after a 364-day absence (Getty)

Williams took some positives from the loss, not going past the first set in his last appearance at this time last year.

A slip on the slippery grass resulted in her abandonment of the match, giving the match to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

“It’s definitely better than last year, it’s a start,” she laughed.

Asked if she would accept the loss of Tan as her lasting memory from Wimbledon, Williams replied: “Obviously not, definitely not.

“But today I gave everything I could have today, tomorrow maybe I could have given more, or maybe a week ago I could have given more.

“At some point you have to be okay with that, and I’m fine, that’s all I could do. You can’t change the time or anything. That’s all I could do that day.”

Although a return to Wimbledon may not be on the cards, Williams has revealed her desire to play her home event, the US Open.

It now looms as his pre-retirement swan song. If this is how it goes, she will fail in her quest to eclipse Margaret Court’s all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles.

“When you’re at home, especially in New York, the US Open, which is the first place I won a Grand Slam, is always something very special,” Williams said.

“Your first time is always special. There is definitely a lot of motivation to improve to play at home.”

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