Chris Mascaro
Monday February 17th, 2014

Serena Williams (William West/Getty Images) Serena Williams is a 17-time major singles winner. (William West/Getty Images)

Serena Williams is getting antsy.

The 32-year-old hasn't played since losing a three-set match to Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open last month due to an achy back, so she asked for a wild card into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which began Monday.

"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 told reporters in a pre-tournament interview. "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.'"

NGUYEN: What we love about tennis

Williams got the top seed in the tournament and received a bye. She will play Russian Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday. Williams is also in the doubles draw with her sister Venus.

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

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.