Venus Williams will take her place in the main draw of next month’s Australian Open 25 years after her Melbourne debut.
The 42-year-old, a two-time finalist in Melbourne, has been handed a wildcard to compete by tournament bosses.
“I am very excited to be returning to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January,” said the older of the two Williams sisters.
“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.”
The latter part of Williams’ career has been curtailed by both illness and injury. In her last Australian Open appearance in 2021, she was knocked out in the second round by then world No5 Sara Errani.
Following the wildcard, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: “Venus is not just an incredible player and fan favourite, she’s a great role model and leader in our sport in so many ways. We are delighted to welcome her back to the Australian Open in January.” (Standard)