Australian Open 2022: Venus Williams will not play at Melbourne Park
After Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from this year’s Australian Open, it was hoped her sister Venus would play.
American legend Venus Williams will not play at the Australian Open next month, which means an emerging Australian will get the final wildcard in women’s singles.
At 41, Williams remains a significant asset but fell outside the top 100 – and direct entry for the Australian Open – in May for the first time in nine years.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion has not played since August due to a leg injury which also forced her to skip the US Open.
Williams’ ranking fell to 318th place and she would have needed a wild card to enter the tournament.
But News Corp can reveal that it won’t make the trip to Melbourne. His sister, Serena Williams (hamstring), will also not be participating in the tournament from January 17 to 30.
Venus Williams has appeared in 13 of Australia’s last 14 Opens, missing only in 2012 as she faced the debilitating effects of autoimmune diseases.
It will be the first time since 1997 that neither of the Williams sisters have been featured in the Melbourne Park main draw.
Williams has just returned to his Florida base and is spending time with Serena and her daughter, Olympia, after visiting Paris.
She finished second at Melbourne Park in 2017 and 2003 and reached at least the quarter-finals seven other times.
Seven of the eight Australian Open women’s wildcards have already been awarded, including four to locals Sam Stosur, Daria Saville (née Gavrilova), Storm Sanders and Maddison Inglis.
The others went to Xiyu Wang (Asia-Pacific), Robin Anderson (US) and Diane Parry (France) as part of annual arrangements.
Lizette Cabrera, Wimbledon qualifier Ellen Perez, Seone Mendez and Priscilla Hon are contenders for the wildcard singles final.
Cabrera, Perez and Mendez scored wildcards for next week’s WTA 250 Melbourne event, while Hon received one for the WTA 500 Adelaide International.
Their performances in these tournaments should play a part in avoiding having to qualify for their home grand slam.