Melbourne: Venus Williams has been awarded a wild-card entry to play at the Australian Open next month, 25 years after she played the Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
The 42-year-old Williams has reached the final twice in Australia, including a loss to her younger sister, Serena, in the 2017 championship match. She will be contesting the season-opening major for the 22nd time.
“I’ve been competing in the country for over 20 years now and the Australian community has always supported me wholeheartedly,” the seven-time major winner said in a statement.
Venus and Serena Williams combined to win the Australian Open women’s doubles title four times and Venus also won the mixed doubles title in 1998 with fellow American Justin Gimelstob.
Serena Williams will not be contesting the Jan. 16-29 tournament at Melbourne Park after announcing at the U.S. Open that she was ready to evolve away from tennis.