WIMBLEDON, England — Even though she is short on matches this year, Serena Williams is still big on grass.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion reached the quarterfinals at the All England Club for the 14th time, beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-2 on Monday.
Williams, who missed about a year of play while she had a baby in 2017 but returned to the tennis tour in 2018, before Wimbledon had not played since the third round of the French Open - skipping the grass-court warm-up tournaments.
''I definitely haven't had enough (matches),'' said Williams, who had been dealing with an injured left knee. ''I have more matches this week than literally the past five months. So, yikes.''
Williams reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, then retired from a match at Indian Wells, withdrew from matches in Miami and Rome, and then played at the French Open.
''I know that I can play, and now that I'm feeling better physically I almost feel a relief more than anything,'' Williams said. ''Like, OK, finally I can play tennis.''
Against Suarez Navarro, Williams won six straight games from 3-2 in the first set and broke for a 5-2 lead in the second. She easily closed it out from there.
Williams, who lost to Angelique Kerber in last year's Wimbledon final, will next face Alison Riske, an unseeded American who upset top-ranked Ash Barty.
Williams' last loss was also against American opposition, Sofia Kenin in the third round at Roland Garros.
''Well the last time I faced a fellow American I lost, so I definitely want to do well this time,'' Williams said. ''And yeah, she's great on the grass. She took out the No. 1 player in the world who just won a grass-court tournament. I watched that match, so I'll be ready for her.''