Five-time singles champion Venus Williams handed Wimbledon wild card

Five-time singles champion Venus Williams handed Wimbledon wild card

Five-time Wimbledon singles champion Venus Williams has been awarded a wild card for next month’s championships.

Williams, who played mixed doubles at the All England Club last year, has not played in the singles event since 2021 but rolled back the years on Monday to beat Camila Giorgi at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham days after her 43rd birthday.

Williams competes sparingly these days and only played her first tournament since January at a grass-court event in the Netherlands last week before heading to Birmingham.

Her gutsy 7-6 (5), 4-6 7-6 (6) victory over Giorgi in more than three hours on Monday represented a first win over a top-50 opponent since 2019.

Ten singles wild cards have been handed to British male and female players, including Liam Broady and Katie Boulter, while Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina will be involved in Wimbledon after she missed last year’s tournament due to her pregnancy.

Former world number three Svitolina gave birth in October but made the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last month in her first grand-slam since becoming a mother.

Svitolina made the last four at Wimbledon in 2021 and could encounter more Russian and Belarussian players in SW19.

She was booed at the French Open after not shaking hands with Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka following her quarter-final exit.

Jodie Burrage
Jodie Burrage is one of 10 British players to receive singles wild cards (Jacob King/PA).

British hopefuls Jodie Burrage, Harriet Dart, Katie Swan, Heather Watson have also been given wild cards.

In the men’s singles Ryan Peniston has received a wild card, along with fellow Britons Arthur Fery, Jan Choinski and George Loffhagen, with the trio set to make their main draw debuts at Wimbledon.

Belgian David Goffin, the world number 124, has been handed a wild card following his run to the quarter-finals in 2022, where he lost in five sets to British number one Cameron Norrie.

The All England Club has one more women’s singles and two more men’s singles wild cards to hand out.