MELBOURNE, Australia - For the first time since winning the title in 1998, Venus Williams will play mixed doubles at the Australian Open.
Williams, who won the trophy in Melbourne alongside Justin Gimelstob in her lone prior mixed appearance at the event, will partner Colombia's Juan-Sebastian Cabal, currently the co-No.1 on the ATP Tour in men's doubles, in this year's tournament.
The decorated duo, both of whom have owned the top spot in the doubles rankings on their respective tours, will face China's Zheng Saisai and Belgian Joran Vliegen in the first round.
The American will play mixed doubles at a major for the second straight year, having partnered compatriot Frances Tiafoe at Wimbledon last summer, after having not played mixed doubles at any major since 2006.
She owns two career Grand Slams in mixed doubles, having also partnered Gimelstob to win the 1998 French Open when she was a 17-year-old, and partnered compatriot Rajeev Ram to a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where they were beaten in an all-American final by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock.
Doubles World No.1 Barbora Strycova and Brazil's Marcelo Melo are the top seeds, while China's Zhang Shuai and France's Nicolas Mahut are seeded No.2, and Barbora Krejcikova, who won last year's title alongside Ram, will instead partner Croatia's Nikola Mektic as the No.5 seeds.
Hsieh Su-wei, the other half of the top-seeded women's doubles team in Melbourne with Strycova, is seeded No.8 alongside Great Britain's Neal Skupski, and former champion Gabriela Dabrowski, who won the 2018 title with Mate Pavic, is seeded No.3 alongside Henri Kontinen of Finland.
Other notable teams include Jelena Ostapenko and Leander Paes, who received a wildcard; American teenager Amanda Anisimova, making her Grand Slam mixed doubles debut, and home favorite Nick Kyrgios; and two-time defending US Open champions Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray, who will face Strycova and Melo in what could be a thrilling opening round encounter.
To view the entire 2020 Australian Open mixed doubles draw, click here.