Former world No 1 Venus Williams has accepted a main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic in Auckland, the tournament announced. Williams, 42, will be making her sixth appearance on the hard courts of Auckland. Williams debuted at the ASB Classic in 2014, when she made the final before losing to Ana Ivanovic.
The following year, Williams returned to the tournament and won the title after beating Caroline Wozniacki in the 2015 Auckland final. In 2016, Williams didn’t defend her Auckland title as she suffered a first-round loss.
Williams made the Auckland round-of-16 in 2017, while she made the quarterfinal in her last Auckland appearance in 2019.
The Auckland organizers thrilled to be hosting Williams
“We are absolutely thrilled to have one of the greatest players returning to the ASB Classic.
Venus is not just one of the best players in the history of the sport, but she loves it here in New Zealand. When her agent contacted us, we were more than pleased to offer her a wildcard into the ASB Classic. She loves it here in New Zealand and Auckland in particular, and the fans here love her,” ASB Classic tournament director Nicolas Lamperin said in a statement.
This year, Williams appeared in four singles tournaments. Now, Williams is set to start the 2023 season on time. Just a few days ago, Williams announced that she accepted a wildcard into the Australian Open. With that being said, Williams has now been confirmed two tournaments at the start of the 2023 season.
“I am very excited to be returning to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January. 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,” Williams said of competing at the Australian Open. It remains to be seen how will Williams do in Auckland and Melbourne.