While Serena Williams’ planned retirement at the 2022 US Open has received most of the tennis headlines lately, her older sister, Venus Williams, is also set to compete at the final major tournament of the year.
Per ESPN, the seven-time Grand Slam champion has received a wild card entry into the US Open, which begins Aug. 29. This will be Venus’ 23rd appearance at the New York-based event.
She recently returned to competitive tennis after nearly a year away when she partnered with Jamie Murray in mixed doubles at Wimbledon. They lost in the second round.
To prepare for the US Open, the four-time Olympic gold medalist has played warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati, though she hasn’t made it out of the first round.
There’s no question that Venus is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Debuting on the WTA tour before Serena, her power combined with her ability to move around the court changed the game and inspired a new generation of female athletes. Off the court, she’s fought for pay equality, demanding that women get the same amount of prize money as men.
While it’s clear that 42-year-old Venus’ game isn’t what it once was, and she can’t compete at the same level as younger players, I would never tell anyone when it’s time to retire. If she still loves to compete, then Venus should play as long as she wants.
As a wild card, Venus will likely be paired against a seeded player, which means a tough first round match up. Win or lose, there are still plenty of times she plays like the champion she’s always been, making her fun to watch.
Whether she decides to follow Serena’s lead or play a year or two longer, Venus is certainly at the tail end of her career and we need to appreciate every moment we get to see her on the court. Groundbreaking legends like her don’t come around often.