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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, December 19, 2022


Venus Williams will rise again Down Under, accepting an Australian Open wild card to make her 22nd appearance in Melbourne Park.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Venus will rise again Down Under.

Former world No. 1 Venus Williams has received a wild card into next month's Australian Open.

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Champions are generational, legends last forever.

The 42-year-old superstar will make her 22nd appearance in Melbourne, a full quarter century after her 1998 debut.

The Australian Open is set for January 16-29th and Williams says she's pumped to play the Happy Slam again.

“I am very excited to be returning to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January,” Venus Williams said in a statement.  “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.”

Tennis Express

Seven-time major champion Venus owns a 54-21 lifetime Australian Open record. She ended 2022 on a six-match losing slide and didn't win a match after her Wimbledon first-round win.

Veteran Venus has been training both on court and in the gym, sharing some of her experiences and her racquet experimentation on her YouTube channel, and says she's excited to compete.

Last summer, Venus experimented playing with a 98-square inch Wilson Pro Staff. While she liked the control, Venus said she wasn't getting quite the same explosiveness that prompted another racquet shift. Venus is now back using her familiar Wilson Blade with one intriguing twist: She's now using sister Serena Williams' version of the Blade using her younger sister's stick specs for the first time.

Two-time AO singles finalist Venus Williams partnered sister Serena Williams to four Australian Open doubles titles. Venus also joined forces with Justin Gimelstob to win the 1998 Australian Open mixed doubles championship.

Serena Williams defeated Venus Williams in a historic 2017 Australian Open final.

Nineteen years after the Williams sisters squared off in their first professional meeting in Melbourne, the most successful sister act in sport staged another family reunion in the 2017 Australian Open final.

Commanding the center of the court, Serena hit her way into history defeating Venus, 6-4, 6-4, to claim her seventh Australian Open title and Open Era-record 23rd Grand Slam championship, breaking the mark she shared with Steffi Graf.

Beaming with pride, big sister Venus gave a runner-up speech of grace and class praising the sister she inspired reminding  in a solo sport family roots run deep.

“That’s my little sister, guys,” Venus said afterward. “Congratulations Serena on number 23. I’ve been right there with you. Some of them I’ve lost against you. Your win has always been my win. I think you know that. All of those times I didn’t get there, couldn’t get there, you were there.

“I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me… God willing, I would love to come back. Thank you for all the love.”


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