• Dubai Tennis Championships

Serena: Boredom led to Dubai entry

ESPN staff
February 18, 2014
Venus safely through in Dubai

Serena Williams says she asked for a wild card into the Dubai Tennis Championships to combat boredom once she believed her back injury was on the mend.

Speaking to the media on Monday afternoon, the world No.1 revealed she is keen to get back on court.

"My back finally started to feel better, but it wasn't better in time for me to play Doha at the level I'd like to play," Williams said.

"So then it became more about what can I play next, and this was next on the calendar.

"It gets boring to have to practice every day. I was like, 'I don't want to practice anymore. I want to play a match.'"

The American has been sidelined with a sore back since losing a three-set, fourth-round match to Ana Ivanovic at the Australian Open last month.

The top-seed Williams is not just playing singles this week in Dubai. She and sister Venus, who also was given a singles wild card into the main draw, were granted a wild card into doubles as well.

"I think it's actually going to be good for me [to play in both singles and doubles] because it will give me some more match play," Serena added. "I need to get used to the conditions and moving, so it's definitely helpful."

Williams, who received a first round-bye, will play Alisa Kleybanova - who beat fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova - in the second round.

However, Makarova will get the chance to take on Williams in the doubles. Elena Vesnina, who lost to Venus in the first round of the singles, makes up the second-seeded Russian pair that will take on the American sisters.

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