Australian Open 2023: Venus Williams given wild card into main draw

American legend and seven-time major champion Venus Williams has been awarded a wild card into the women’s singles main draw of the 2023 Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam.

Venus, the former World No 1, is a two-time finalist and the 42-year-old will be making her 22nd appearance in the tournament that begins on January 16 at Melbourne Park here. Venus made her first appearance here in 1998.

“I am very excited to be returning to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January,” said Williams, who owns a 54-21 career win-loss record at the Australian Open where she made her debut 25-year ago.

“I’ve been competing in the country for over 20 years now and the Australian community has always supported me wholeheartedly. It will be an honour to play for the fans again and I’m looking forward to making more memories at the tournament this year,” Williams was quoted as saying by the organisers in a release on Monday.

In addition to her appearances in the finals of 2003 and 2017, former world No.1 Williams has reached at least the quarterfinal stage on nine occasions.

In doubles, she and her sister Serena Williams combined to win the women’s title four times — 2001, 2003, 2009 and 2010 — and she also captured the mixed doubles crown in 1998 with Justin Gimelstob.

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