Serena Williams has admitted that her return to tennis this week has made her realise just how much she has missed playing.
Williams is set to play her first singles match in a year at Wimbledon where she has been granted a wild card.
She stepped away from tennis entirely after the 2021 Championships, saying she went 'cold turkey' on her career.
However, the 40-year-old is back on a tennis court this week again and very happy for it.
"I think I will always enjoy the competitive side and I think there is a part of me that will always, no matter what happens, will always miss it," she explained.
"So I wasn't thinking about whether I was missing it. I was just recovering and taking time off and just taking mental breaks, but yes, now when I'm back, it's like, especially this match in particular, it's like, OK, you really remember the competitiveness and then you start to miss it, yes."
Serena Williams was talking after she and Ons Jabeur beat Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching 6-2, 6-4 win in the Eastbourne doubles.
It was Serena's second match since her return, and he said she was very happy with how her game was returning to her.
"I feel like I have been serving well so that's been really good," she said. "Working really hard on that.
"I have been returning well. I've missed a lot today, but the young ladies they were serving really well, the ball was staying lower, but yes, those two shots have really come together for me.
"I have had some really good training leading up to Wimbledon and up to this tournament, really hitting the ball well and just working out. It's been working and it's just been connecting."