Venus Williams out of Australian Open due to injury

USA’s Venus Williams reacts in her first-round doubles match against Serena Williams against Czech Republic’s Lucy Hradecca and Linda Noskova at the US Open Tennis Championships in New York on September 1, 2022. (Frank Franklin II/AP Photo)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open following an undisclosed injury sustained while playing in the tournament in Auckland, New Zealand this week.

Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, was a wildcard at the Australian Open last month, making her 22nd major tournament at Melbourne Park.

But the Australian Open announced Saturday that the 42-year-old Williams has withdrawn from the tournament, which starts January 16. He did not provide details about his injury.

Williams’ misfortunes continue after he last played at Melbourne Park in 2021.

Williams, a two-time Australian Open finalist, injured her ankle and knee when she awkwardly tripped over the net in her second-round match against Sarah Errani.

Her best efforts at Melbourne Park came in 2003 and 2017 when she lost to her sister Serena Williams in the final.

Williams, currently ranked No. 1,003, said he was thrilled to be back in Melbourne when he was awarded a wildcard in December.

“I have been competing in this country for over 20 years and the Australian community has always had my heartfelt support,” she said.

The five-time Wimbledon singles champion has struggled with injuries over the past two years and was limited to just four tournaments in the US last August. She did not progress beyond her first round in those events and ended the season when she lost to Alison van Uytbank at the US Open.

However, she started 2023 positively by beating fellow American Katie Volinetz in Oakland. She then lost in the second round to her Zhu Lin of China in her three sets.

Courtney Walsh