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Venus Williams has been issued a wildcard to play at the upcoming Australian Open, it has been confirmed.

The 42-year-old decided not to follow younger sister Serena into retirement last year and return to the WTA for one last run instead, and that will include another appearance in Melbourne.

Despite winning seven Grand Slam singles titles in her career, Venus Williams has never won one at the Australian Open, although she has played in two finals.

She has won five doubles titles in the tournament though – four of them with Serena.

“Venus is not just an incredible player and fan favourite, she’s a great role model and leader in our sport in so many ways,” tournament director Craig Tiley said.

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“We are delighted to welcome her back to the AO in January.”

Venus Williams reached an Australian Open final relatively recently, in 2017, although injury prevented her from playing the event earlier this year.

“I am very excited to be returning to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open in January,” Williams said.

“I’ve been competing in the country for over 20 years now and the Australian community has always supported me wholeheartedly. It will be an honour to play for the fans again and I’m looking forward to making more memories at the tournament this year.”

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