Five-time Wimbledon singles champion Venus Williams and 2019 semifinalist Elina Svitolina are among the initial batch of Wimbledon wild cards announced by the tournament on Wednesday.
Both missed the grass-court Grand Slam in 2022 -- Svitolina due to pregnancy, and Williams due to injury -- and will return this year on the invitation. Williams, who won the title in 2000-01, 2005 and 2007-08, will be playing her 24th main draw at Wimbledon, while Svitolina will suit up for her ninth. In addition to her 2019 semifinal, where she lost to eventual winner Simona Halep, Svitolina also reached the fourth round in 2017.
This week, Williams earned her first Top 50 win in four years, and her first grass-court win since Wimbledon 2021, with a 3 hour, 17-minute triumph over Camila Giorgi in the first round of the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.
Initial wild cards have been announced for The Championships 2023 ⬇️#Wimbledon— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 21, 2023
Seven of the tournament's eight expected wild cards were announced Wednesday, and in addition to Svitolina and Williams, Great Britain is well-represented. Joining them in the main draw will be Katie Boulter, Jodie Burrage, Harriet Dart, Katie Swan and Heather Watson.
Boulter, now well inside the Top 100, earns a wild card as she was ranked outside the main-draw cut-off when it was made last month. The 26-year-old beat Burrage last week in Nottingham in the first all-British final on the Hologic WTA Tour since 1977, giving Boulter her first career WTA title.
Boulter reached the third round at Wimbledon 12 months ago, where she earned a Top 10 win over Karolina Pliskova en route.
Dart's best Wimbledon result, like Svitolina, came in 2019, where she reached the third round. Last year, the veteran Watson reached the last 16 for the first time in 12 career appearances.
One wild card is still to be awarded. The Wimbledon main draw begins on July 3.