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Venus Williams receives wild card to 2023 Australian Open
Venus Williams is set to return to the Australian Open for the 22nd time in her career: The 42-year-old former world No. 1 has been given a main-draw wild card for the 2023 Australian Open by Tennis Australia.
The 2023 Australian Open will also mark a special anniversary for Williams Down Under: It's been 25 years since her tournament debut in 1998.
“I am very excited to be returning to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January,” Williams said in a statement released by Tennis Australia.
“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 honor to play for the fans again and I’m looking forward to making more memories at the tournament this year.”
Williams is 54-21 in her career in Melbourne, which includes two appearances in the women's singles final in 2003 and 2017. She reached the quarterfinals or better on seven other occasions, including in her debut in 1998. She didn't play last year's Australian Open, and reached the second round in her last appearance in 2021. That year, she became the first woman aged 40 or over to win a singles match at a Grand Slam since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 2004.
In doubles and mixed doubles at the Australian Open all-time, Williams is 46-5. She and her sister, Serena, won four of their 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together at the event, and she and fellow American Justin Gimelstob won the 1998 mixed doubles title.
“Venus is not just an incredible player and fan favorite, she’s a great role model and leader in our sport in so many ways,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said. “We are delighted to welcome her back to the AO in January.”
After an injury layoff of nearly a year, Williams played just four singles matches in 2022, going 0-4. She's currently ranked No. 1,007.
Williams joins 27 other American men and women who've received direct entry into the tournament, led by Top 10 stars Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff and Taylor Fritz. The other wild cards will be confirmed by Tennis Australia in the coming weeks.
The Australian Open main draw begins on Jan. 16 and runs through Jan. 29.