Tennis fans in shock as Venus Williams makes a BIG comeback ahead of the Australian Open

Tennis fans in shock as all-time great Venus Williams makes a BIG comeback ahead of the Australian Open

  • Venus Williams will compete at the Australian Open for the 22nd time
  • Williams has been awarded a wildcard into the season’s first grand slam
  • The AO is the biggest major title that has eluded the seven-time grand slam champion

Tennis’ most famous siblings will be represented in the Australian Open draw again after Venus Williams was awarded a wildcard into the season’s first grand slam in Melbourne.

A year after neither Venus nor Serena Williams contested the Open for the first time in a quarter of a century, Tennis Australia announced on Monday that 42-year-old Venus would be back next month for the 22nd time.

Tennis’ most famous siblings will be represented in the Australian Open draw again after Venus Williams (pictured at the 2019 Australian Open) was awarded a wildcard into the season’s first grand slam in Melbourne

A year after neither Venus nor Serena Williams contested the Open for the first time in a quarter of a century, Tennis Australia announced on Monday that 42-year-old Venus (pictured) would be back next month for the 22nd time

A year after neither Venus nor Serena Williams contested the Open for the first time in a quarter of a century, Tennis Australia announced on Monday that 42-year-old Venus (pictured) would be back next month for the 22nd time

“I am very excited to return to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January,” Williams said in a statement released by Tennis Australia.

“I have 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 look forward to making more memories at the tournament this year.”

The AO is the biggest major title to elude the seven-time grand slam champion, who made his debut in Melbourne as a 16-year-old in 1997.

She lost the final in 2003 to her sister, and last reached the decider in 2017, losing again to Serena, who was three months pregnant.

The Australian Open is the biggest major title to elude the seven-time grand slam champion, who made her Melbourne debut as a 16-year-old in 1997 (Venus pictured at the 2010 Australian Open)

The Australian Open is the biggest major title to elude the seven-time grand slam champion, who made her Melbourne debut as a 16-year-old in 1997 (Venus pictured at the 2010 Australian Open)

Serena will not return after announcing her retirement following a UP Open third-round loss to Australian No. 1 Ajla Tomljanovic in September.

But tournament director Craig Tiley said he was delighted to welcome back Venus, who has a 54-21 win-loss record in Melbourne, having reached at least the quarter-finals nine times.

“Venus is not only an incredible player and fan favorite, she is a great role model and leader in our sport in so many ways,” said Tiley.

Williams (pictured) joins an incredible women's field of 12 major champions and an unusually high entry into the main draw of world No.95

Williams (pictured) joins an incredible women’s field of 12 major champions and an unusually high entry into the main draw of world No.95

“We are delighted to welcome her back to AO in January.”

Williams joins an incredible women’s field with 12 major champions and an unusually high entry into the main draw of the world No.95.

The 2023 Australian Open runs from 16 to 29 January.

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