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Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been given a wild-card entry into the main draw of the National Bank Open next month.
She will compete in Toronto for the first time since 2019 and return to WTA Tour singles play for the first time since August 2021.
Venus Williams walks onto court during the Centre Court Centenary Celebration during day seven of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
The former world No. 1 and five-time Wimbledon champion last played when she partnered with Jamie Murray of Britain in Wimbledon’s mixed doubles draw earlier this month. Williams is a 41-time WTA singles champion and Olympic gold medalist.
Her sister Serena Williams was on the official entry list released last week for Toronto, which would mark her first North American hard-court event in two years, and comes of the heels of her first-round exit at Wimbledon in June. Asked after that defeat whether she would play again, the 40-year-old Williams said she didn’t know.
Venus Williams of the United States and Jamie Murray of Great Britain in action against Jonny OMara of Great Britain and Alicia Barnett of Great Britain in their second round mixed doubles match during Day Seven of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2022 in London, England (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
The three-time champion in Toronto last played there in 2019, when she retired because of back spasms in the final against Bianca Andreescu of Canada. Andreescu beat Serena Williams a month later in the final at the U.S. Open, for which Toronto is considered a tuneup event.
Andreescu also received a top-20 wild card for the National Bank Open.
Venus Williams of The United States and partner Jamie Murray of Great Britain interact during their Mixed Doubles Second Round match against Alicia Barnett of Great Britain and Jonny O’Mara of Great Britain on day seven of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Three more wild cards will be distributed to Canadian players closer to the start of the tournament, which runs Aug. 6-14.