US Open wildcards: Venus Williams and Dominic Thiem handed slots

Venus Williams unimpressed

Former champions Venus Williams and Dominic Thiem have been handed wildcards into the US Open.

Williams made her return to singles competition at the Citi Open in Washington earlier this month.

The future of her tennis career is still a matter of conjecture with her younger sister announcing that she is transitioning away from the sport.

Williams, who won at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001, will compete at the age of 42 as she continues a comeback from a recent injury.

The elder Williams sister, whose sibling Serena is set to retire at the end of the tournament, played in Washington and Toronto having previously spent a year out and will appear in New York for the first time since 2020.

Thiem, champion in 2020, has also been handed a place in the main draw as he continues his recovery from a serious injury.

The Austrian – who is currently ranked 228 – suffered a wrist injury that curtailed most of 2021 and the first part of 2022.

Americans Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open in 2020 and is also coming back from a long lay-off, Sam Querrey and Coco Vandeweghe have also been handed wildcards by the United States Tennis Association.

Having slipped out of the top 400 Kenin recently returned to competition following an extended injury break.

The USTA also announced an additional four American wildcards.

Elizabeth Mandlik won the USTA’s Wildcard Challenge during a summer that saw her make her WTA main-draw debut at San Jose and win her debut tour match.

The 21-year-old is not the only debutant among the main draw wildcards for the US Open with 20-year-old NCAA singles champion Peyton Stearns and USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s National Championships winner Eleana Yu also handed berths.

Coco Vandeweghe won her first title in six years atlast week’s WTA 125 event in Concord, Massachusetts and convinced organisers to give her a main draw slot.

France’s Harmony Tan and Ugo Humbert receive reciprocal wildcards while Australians Rinky Hijikata and Jaimee Fourlis also benefit from the arrangement with the USTA.

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The oldest of the men’s wildcards, Sam Querrey is a full 18 years older than the youngest wildcard entrant into the men’s singles.

USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Learner Tien is the youngest of the group aged just 16 and is joined by another teenager in NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton.

Other wildcards include 20-year-old Emilio Nava, who reached the boys’ singles finals at both the 2019 Australian and US Opens and 23-year-old J.J. Wolf.