Tennis: Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki are given wild cards into the US Open

AP , Thursday 17 Aug 2023

Venus Williams will be back in the U.S. Open at age 43, and Caroline Wozniacki will join her in the field for her return to Grand Slam tennis.

Venus Williams
Venus Williams of the United States returns a shot to Qinwen Zheng of China during their match at the Western Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2023 in Mason, Ohio. AFP

 

Both players were given wild cards into the tournament on Wednesday by the U.S. Tennis Association.

Williams was the U.S. Open champion in 2000 and 2001, two of her seven major singles titles. A year after younger sister Serena retired following the tournament, Venus Williams will be back in Flushing Meadows, where she reached the final in her debut in 1997.

She recently returned to competition after missing nearly six months because of injury and this week scored her first victory over a top-20 player in four years, beating 16th-ranked Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday.

Wozniacki announced in June that she was returning to competition three years after retiring to start a family, and the USTA said then that she would be given a wild card into the tournament where she was twice the runner-up. The former No. 1-ranked player from Denmark, who has two children with husband and former NBA player David Lee, earned the first victory in her comeback last week in Montreal.

American women Ashlyn Krueger, Robin Montgomery, Kayla Day and Clervie Ngounoue also will receive wild cards into the main draw, as will Fiona Ferro of France and Storm Hunter of Australia, as part of reciprocal agreements with their tennis federations.

Ferro accused her former coach, Pierre Bouteyre, of sexual assault last year, shortly after losing in qualifying at the U.S. Open.

John Isner, a two-time U.S. Open quarterfinalist who was long the highest-ranked American man, was given a wild card for his 17th appearance in the main draw. Fellow Americans Alex Michelsen, Michael Mmoh, Steve Johnson, Ethan Quinn and Learner Tien also got wild cards, as did Benjamin Bonzi of France and Australian Rinky Hijikata.

Play in the main draw begins Aug. 28.

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