Venus Williams receives wildcard participation for the Australian Open 2023
MELBOURNE, Australia — Venus Williams has been given a wildcard entry to play at the Australian Open next month, 25 years after she first competed in the Grand Slam tournament.
Williams, 42, has reached the final twice in Australia, including a loss to her younger sister Serena in the 2017 league game. She will be making her 22nd appearance in the season-opening major.
“I have been competing in the country for over 20 years and the Australian community has always given me wholehearted support,” the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion said in a statement. “It will be an honor to play for the fans again and I look forward to making more memories from the tournament this year.”
Venus is currently ranked outside the top 1,000 and has not played a competitive game since the 2022 US Open. She lost in the first round in singles to unseeded Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium and then paired with Serena for the doubles competition as a wild card entrant. The sisters lost in the first round 7-6 (5), 6-4 to Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova.
While Serena announced in August her plans to “evolve” away from tennis to focus on interests and ventures off the tennis court – and witnessed a star-studded farewell at the US Open – the elder Williams sister publicly revealed nothing of the sort Plans.
“Right now I’m just concentrating on doubles,” Venus told reporters after her singles match in the first round at Flushing Meadows when asked about her future in the sport.
Venus and Serena together won the Australian Open women’s doubles title four times, and Venus also won the mixed doubles title alongside fellow American Justin Gimelstob in 1998. She holds a career record of 54-21 in singles at the Australian Open.
Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine was included in this report.