Wimbledon 2022: Why does Serena Williams wear black tape on her face?

Wimbledon 2022: Why does Serena Williams wear black tape on her face?

The most successful woman at Wimbledon during the 21st century will return to the All England Club when Serena Williams makes her first Grand Slam appearance for a year in one of the most anticipated early highlights of the 2022 tournament.

Eight-time singles champion Williams has been seeded and will be the star draw in the women’s singles on the second day of the tournament, entering as a wild card with a WTA world ranking of 411 before the start of play.

A 23-time major singles champion, Williams can match Margaret Court’s all-time record by winning a 24th slam.

When Williams appeared at warm-up tournament the Eastbourne International earlier in June, fans spotted that the superstar was wearing black tape on her face. The Sporting News explains why.

MORE: Wimbledon 2022 live: Serena Williams score updates and highlights from Centre Court 

Why does Serena Williams wear black tape on her face?

The small sections of plaster on Williams’ cheek are medical tape designed to help relieve the 40-year-old’s sinus problems, according to The Times.

Williams wore the tape to help her performances when she reached the doubles semifinals at Eastbourne.

The hugely popular former world number one played alongside current world number two Ons Jabeur at the tournament.

MORE: Watch Wimbledon 2022 live with fuboTV (free trial)

The pair were unable to compete in the final four because Jabeur had a knee injury but Williams had proved a huge hit in her first matches since tearing her hamstring at Wimbledon 2021.

What has Serena Williams said about wearing black tape on her face?

Williams spoke with characteristic openness about the issue in an interview ahead of the busy summer Grand Slam schedule in 2007.

“My secret’s out,” she told Reuters. “I’m a sinus sufferer. Playing tennis or pretty much doing anything every day is not easy when you have sinuses.

“You feel a lot of pressure, congestion and pain and training for grand slams such as… Wimbledon and the French Open, it’s not easy.”

Her tips for helping with the problem included hot showers as part of measures to keep the chest and passageways around the body clear.

MORE: Who has won the most Wimbledon titles?

She added that she uses a natural saline spray several times daily in order to keep her sinuses moist.

According to the CDC, almost 12 per cent of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with sinusitis — a total of almost 29 million people.

What time is Serena Williams’ next match at Wimbledon 2022?

SW19 great Williams faces Harmony Tan in the third and final match on Centre Court on Tuesday, June 28.

The action on the second day started with top seed and world number one Iga Swiatek breezing past Jana Fett 6-0 6-0. Rafael Nadal then overcame Francisco Cerundolo in four sets.

It meant Williams’ match got underway at around 7:20 p.m (2 p.m. ET, 4:20 a.m. AEST) and Tan stunned her by taking the first set 7-5.

A short delay in play followed as the Centre Court roof was closed and the floodlights came on. Play can continue until a curfew at 11 p.m (6 p.m. ET, 8 a.m. AEST).

Serena Williams’ history at Wimbledon

Williams has made Wimbledon her playground throughout her career, hoisting the Venus Rosewater Dish seven times. She’s tied with Steffi Graf for the second-most Wimbledon singles titles in her career, trailing record-holder Martina Navritilova, who has nine.

The last time Williams won Wimbledon was in 2016, when she defeated Germany’s Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the final.