Venus Williams ready to rise to Wuhan Open

Venus Williams ready to rise to Wuhan Open

Venus Williams of the United States hits a return during the women's singles 2nd round match between Venus Williams of the United States and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine at the 2019 US Open in New York, the United States, Aug. 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Seven-time Grand Slam winner and former Wuhan Open champion Venus Williams will return to the tournament this year after accepting a wildcard into the WTA Premier 5 event, which will begin on September 20th.

The 39-year-old has won a total of 23 Grand Slam titles - seven in singles, 14 in doubles as well as two in mixed doubles. Williams has won a total of 49 career WTA titles and has been ranked No1 in the world, while her record of five Wimbledon titles (2000, 2001, 2005 2007 and 2008) and two US Open victories (2000 and 2001) made her one of the most successful tennis players in the world. With five Olympic medals, including four golds, Williams is also the most decorated tennis player in Olympic history.

"I have such great memories of Wuhan from winning the title there in 2015, so it's always going to be a special tournament for me. I'm really happy to come back and see all the fans again and play on that amazing center court. It's been great to see how the tournament has grown over the last six years and it's become a place where everyone wants to come and play. I'm so excited to be part of that," Venus Williams said on Wednesday.

"It is great to have Venus back again with us in Wuhan. Not only is she an international sports legend, but also as the 2015 Champion, it means that Wuhan Open will feature all five previous champions. Venus brings with her a lot of passion for tennis. She has many fans in Wuhan who will be excited to welcome her back," said Brenda Perry, co-tournament director of Wuhan Open.

According to the organizing committee, Williams will join World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, World No.2 and 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka as well as Wimbledon champion Simona Halep as part of a strong line-up at this year's tournament.

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