|ESPN.com: Tennis||[Print without images]|
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Serena Williams says she asked for a wild card into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to combat boredom once she believed her back injury was on the mend.
|Serena Williams says she entered the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to combat boredom.|
"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 in a prematch media interview Monday. "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-seeded Williams isn't 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 do [play singles and doubles] because it will give me some more match play," Serena Williams said. "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.
In doubles, the Williams sisters will face the second-seeded Russian pairing of Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the first round.