Venus Williams will be back in the U.S. Open after being given a wild card on Wednesday.
Williams’ inclusion is significant as a former number one player in the world in both singles and doubles. Venus has also had success in the U.S. Open, winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001. This year is also significant as it marks 25 years since she reached the 1997 final in Flushing Meadows as a 17-year-old in her first full season on tour.
However, the most oft-discussed reason that this U.S. Open is significant for Venus Williams is that it is likely to be the final tournament for her younger sister, Serena, who earlier in the summer hinted that she would retire after the 2022 U.S. Open.
The 42-year-old Venus Williams did not play in the U.S. Open last year because of injury but recently returned to action earlier in August after nearly a year away from tour competition.
The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion has not had a great run of success so far, losing in the first round in both the Citi Open and National Bank Open. While her National Bank Open loss was to 21st-ranked Jill Teichmann of Switzerland, Venus Williams also lost in three sets to 111th-ranked Rebecca Marino of Canada in the Citi Open.
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Williams herself is now ranked 1500, so she is likely not a threat to make a deep run in the tournament.
The USTA also gave a wild card to American Sofia Kenin, who won the 2020 Australian Open champion but didn’t compete in New York last year because of injury and is now ranked 264th in the world. Fellow Americans CoCo Vandeweghe, Elizabeth Mandlik, Peyton Stearns, and Eleana Yu were also awarded wild cards.
On the men’s side, wild cards went to Americans Sam Querrey, Emilio Nava, JJ Wolf, Ben Shelton, and Learner Tien. Austrian Dominic Thiem, the 2020 U.S. Open men’s champion who has since battled injuries and dropped to 228th in the world, also was granted a wild card on Wednesday.
Lastly, nine American women received wild card entry into the U.S. Open Qualifying tournament, which is free to attend from Aug. 23-26 as a part of US Open Fan Week. Five of them are teenagers. All of them are listed below:
- Kayla Day, 22, the former world No. 1 junior and 2016 US Open girls’ singles champion
- Valerie Glozman, 15, the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s national singles runner-up
- Catherine Harrison, 28, the former UCLA Bruin who qualified and reached the second round at Wimbledon this summer
- Liv Hovde, 16, the 2022 Wimbledon girls’ singles champion and No. 4 junior in the world
- Elvina Kalieva, 19, the 2021 US Open girls’ doubles finalist
- Ashlyn Krueger, 18, the 2021 USTA Girls’ 18s national champion who won her first USTA Pro Circuit title this year in Evansville, Ind.
- Christina McHale, 30, the former world No. 24 and 2012 London Olympian who owns one WTA singles title
- Whitney Osuigwe, 20, former world No. 1 junior and 2017 French Open girls’ singles champion
- Katrina Scott, 18, who reached the second round of the US Open in 2020 as a 16-year-old and who has won three USTA Pro Circuit singles titles this year