Serena Williams: Practice is boring

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.

"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.