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The Return of Venus: Williams takes singles wild card for Washington & Toronto

The American last played a singles match in Chicago in August 2021 but did play mixed doubles at Wimbledon earlier this month

Venus Williams at Wimbledon, 2022 Venus Williams at Wimbledon, 2022 Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

A month after sister Serena Williams played her first singles match in a year, 42-year-old Venus Williams announced her return to the singles game by accepting a wild card entry into two upcoming tournaments – the Citi Open in Washington DC and the National Bank Open, in Toronto.

The elder Williams sister took a last-minute entry into the mixed doubles event at Wimbledon last month, partnering Jamie Murray, but has not played a singles match since the WTA Chicago Open in August 2021.

While Williams will be making her Citi Open debut, she has played at the National Bank Open before, her best performance there coming in 2014, when she reached the final and was defeated by Ageniszka Radwanska.

The Citi Open is scheduled to begin on August 1 while the Toronto event follows the week after.

In a statement released by the Toronto tournament, Williams, who will play the National Bank Open for the first time in three years, said she was excited to play in Toronto.

“I’m so excited to be back playing the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, said Williams. “I love the city, the tournament, and I look forward to being back in Toronto.”

Venus Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and 16-times Grand Slam doubles champion, 14 of those coming with sister Serena in the women’s doubles field.

Speaking at Wimbledon during her mixed doubles campaign, Venus Williams had said she was inspired by her sister’s return to play at Wimbledon.

“It (Editor note: mixed doubles) was definitely super last minute (decision). Just inspired by Serena. I had no plan to play. I saw the grass and I got excited (smiling). I was at the French Open, it’s a beautiful event, but my heart didn’t beat the same way. Not that I could play but…”. 

Serena Williams, who lost her singles comeback match at Wimbledon last month, is also entered to play the National Bank Open. The Williams sisters join a star-studded field in Toronto which includes all the top 10 ranked players in the world as well as Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, who has also received a wild card entry.

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