(December 19. 2022) Tennis Australia – Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Venus Williams will take her place in the main draw of Australian Open 2023 after being awarded a wildcard.
AO 2023 will mark Williams’ 22nd trip to Melbourne Park, 25 years after she debuted at the tournament in 1998.
The 42-year-old is a two-time AO finalist, most recently in her resurgent season of 2017, before injuries restricted her tournament schedule over the past two years.
“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 AO.
“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.”
In addition to her two AO finals of 2003 and 2017, former world No.1 Williams has reached at least the quarterfinal stage on nine occasions.
In doubles, she and 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.
Serena, 41, announced she would ‘evolve away from tennis’ following the 2022 US Open, where she bowed out in the third round.
In her most recent AO singles appearance, in 2021, Venus Williams beat Kirsten Flipkens to reach the second round, where she fell to former world No.5 Sara Errani.
“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,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.
“We are delighted to welcome her back to the AO in January.”
Williams joins an incredible women’s field at AO 2023, featuring 12 major champions and an unusually high main-draw entry ranking cut-off of No.95.