Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to an injury. In December, the Australian Open organizers announced Williams as a main draw wildcard recipient. Unfortunately, 42-year-old Williams won't be competing at this year's Australian Open.
Williams kicked off her 2023 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where she contracted an injury. Following Williams' withdrawal, the Australian Open organizers decided to redirect her wildcard to Australia's Kim Birrell.
"Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to an injury sustained at the ASB Classic in New Zealand. Australia’s Kim Birrell will be awarded her wildcard place," the Australian Open's statement read.
Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to an injury sustained at the ASB Classic in New Zealand.
Australia’s Kim Birrell will be awarded her wildcard place. — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 7, 2023
Williams not returning to the Australian Open for the first time since 2021
Williams, a former world No 1, made her Australian Open debut in 1998.
Since then, Williams has competed at Melbourne Park 21 times. Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam champion but she has never won the Australian Open. However, she is a two-time Australian Open finalist, having reached the finals at Melbourne Park in 2003 and 2017.
In both of those finals, Williams was beaten by none other than her sister Serena Williams. Meanwhile, Williams clinched her first win since 2021 Wimbledon in Auckland. In the Auckland first round, Williams defeated Katie Volynets 7-6 (4) 6-2.
Last year, Williams appeared in four tournaments and went 0-4. But at the start of this season, Williams won her first match of the year. “This is one of my favorite places to come, I was so excited that I made it here.
I’m happy to get a win today against a great opponent,” Williams said after the match. After beating Volynets, Williams fell short to Lin Zhu as the Chinese beat the American 3-6 6-2 7-5. Unfortunately, Williams seemingly picked up an injury while playing against Zhu. In early February, Williams has a scheduled exhibition match against Danielle Collins in Dallas.