WUHAN, China – Venus Williams has accepted a wildcard to take part in the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open in China next month, the tournament organisers have confirmed.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion is the latest addition to what promises to be a stellar line up for the $2,746,250 Premier 5 tournament, with all of the WTA Top 20 slated to take part.
Additionally, WTA World No.79 Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australia Open champion, was announced as a wildcard for the competition last week.
Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champions, is one of three previous winners in Wuhan, having taken the title in 2015. Her entry, meanwhile, means that all of the previous titleholders in the five-year-old tournament will be present, with two-time victor Petra Kvitova and defending champion Caroline Garcia also playing.
Williams expressed her pleasure to return to China, stating: “I love playing in China because the fans there are so great and always really appreciative. I have some fun memories of winning Wuhan in 2015 so I’m excited that I’ll get a chance to go back there. Every year it’s such a tough field in Wuhan so I’ll be ready to compete hard amongst some really great players.”
Co-tournament director Fabrice Chouquet said: “Venus is an icon of our sport and we're honoured and thrilled to have her competing in Wuhan again this year. She has achieved so much and is a huge favourite with fans around the world, but especially here in Wuhan where she has a special place in people's hearts after lifting the trophy here in 2015.”
Venus is currently competing in the US Open and has set up a third-round tie with sister Serena after defeating Camila Giorgi on Wednesday.