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Venus Williams to play her 22nd Australian Open

Venus Williams

Seven-times Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will play her 22nd Australian Open after being awarded a wildcard to the 2023 event next month.

The 42-year-old American, twice a finalist at Melbourne Park, is ranked outside the top 1,000 and has not played a competitive match since being dumped out of the U.S. Open in the first round by unseeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.

“I’ve been competing in the country for over 20 years now and the Australian community has always supported me wholeheartedly,” Williams said in a statement on Monday.

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“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.”

Williams has lost her last six matches on the WTA Tour since reaching the second round at Wimbledon.

Her 23-times Grand Slam title-winning sister Serena Williams announced she would “evolve away” from tennis following the last U.S. Open, where she bowed out in the third round.

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