Venus Williams, two other Grand Slam champions awarded Cincinnati wildcards

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Venus Williams, two other Grand Slam champions awarded Cincinnati wildcards

Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin and Sloane Stephens have all been awarded main draw wildcards into the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, the tournament announced on Thursday. "Seven-time Grand Slam major champion Venus Williams, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens have been awarded wild card entries into the Western & Southern Open main draw," the tournament organizers announced in a statement on Thursday.

Williams, 42, is set to make her ninth appearance at the Western & Southern Open. Williams' best Cincinnati run came in 2012, when she reached the semifinal before losing to Na Li. Kenin, 23, will be making her third Cincinnati main draw appearance this year.

Kenin enjoyed a pretty strong main draw debut in Cincinnati as she reached the semifinal in 2019. Stephens, 29, is set for a 10th appearance in Cincinnati. In 2017, Stephens made a deep Cincinnati as she was a semifinalist that year.

Williams set to return to action after a 12-month break

Williams hasn't played a singles tournament since last year's August. In recent days, Williams has accepted several wildcards. Last week, Williams accepted a main draw wildcard into the Citi Open in Washington.

The Citi Open kicks off next week and Williams will be making her debut at the tournament. “I am excited to be playing the Citi Open for the first time this summer,” Williams said. “I love Washington, DC, and returning to the nation’s capital to play in front of a community that has supported me so strongly feels like a homecoming.

I am looking forward to being back on the courts and competing in DC soon”. After Washington, Williams will head to Canada for the National Bank Open in Toronto. Then, Williams will return to the United States for the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Williams will likely also receive a main draw wildcard for the US Open.