Toronto, July 20 (IANS) Former World No 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will play her first singles match in nearly 12 months at the National Bank Open after being awarded a wild card into the main draw.
Williams’ most recent singles outing was at the Chicago Women’s Open last August, where she lost in the first round to Hsieh Su-Wei. Her last singles victory came against Mihaela Buzarnescu at Wimbledon 2021.
The 42-year old returned to action in mixed doubles at Wimbledon this month, partnering Jamie Murray to reach the second round.
Toronto previously has been a milestone tournament for Williams. In 1995, at 15 years old, she made her Tier I debut (the equivalent of today’s WTA 1000 category) at the event after receiving a wild card, losing to Sabine Appelmans in the first round.
Despite that, the city has not been Williams’ happiest hunting ground. She owns a 2-7 record in Toronto, with her best performance to date being a third-round showing in 2017. However, she was the 2014 runner-up to Agnieszka Radwanska at the National Bank Open’s sister iteration in Montréal.
Venus will join sister Serena, who entered using her protected ranking, in the field, along with 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu, who has also received a wild card, and a full Top 10 slate led by World No 1 Iga Swiatek.