Picture Credit: Twitter

Picture Credit: Twitter

Venus Williams has been given a wildcard entry for the next Western & Southern Open, the competition said on Monday. Williams will compete in this summer's second hardcourt tournament before the US Open, where she is also anticipated to be awarded a wildcard. The seven-time major champion and former World No. 1 will also participate as a wildcard at the Canadian Open in Montreal the following week.

The former World No. 1 who is now 43 years old, has been out since January due to a hamstring injury she acquired in Auckland. However, she made a comeback to competition last month where the American professional participated in three grass-court competitions, with Wimbledon serving as the pinnacle.

The seven-time Grand Slam winner experienced a fall that limited her agility as she lost to eventual semifinalist Elina Svitolina in the first round of Wimbledon. Williams nonetheless opened up after the loss in a social media post.

Williams has been working out at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca since the loss in order to get ready for the upcoming season on hard courts. The 2023 season began with Williams, who is presently ranked No. 524 in the world, winning her opening-round match in Auckland. She went on to lose in the second round and miss the remainder of the season due to injury. In four tournaments she participated in during the summer hardcourt circuit in 2022, she failed to win a single match.

The Western & Southern Open main draw is set to kickstart on August 13 in Mason, Ohio. Williams is one of five female competitors that have held the No. 1 spot. In Cincinnati, Williams will play in her 10th singles match, and in Montreal, she will play in her 12th. The 43-year-old American overcame her sister Serena to record her best Montreal performance in 2014. Her 2012 semifinal performance in Cincinnati was her finest performance at the venue. 

Williams, who has won 49 singles matches in her career, is coming off a grass-court campaign that saw her defeat Camila Giorgi in Birmingham, outlast Jelena Ostapenko in a three-set match, to make her 24th Wimbledon appearance.