Venus Williams out of Cleveland insists she will play US Open

Venus Williams in action
Venus Wiliams plays a shot

Venus Williams has withdrawn from Tennis in the Land due to a knee injury. 

Despite this, the seven-time Grand Slam singles winner still intends to compete at the US Open next week.

Through the organiser of the WTA 250 competition in downtown Cleveland, Williams published a video explaining her absence to fans.

Williams, now 43-years-old, has struggled with her movement this season and has played with a heavily strapped knee.

“Unfortunately, my knee is just not acting right. It’s not supporting me being on the court,” Venus Williams said.

“It’s such a bummer, but I’m going to work on myself and get myself together to be at the US Open,” she said.

Five days after losing to Zheng Qinwen of China at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, Williams had been slated to play her debut match in Cleveland on Monday.

She defeated No 16 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia earlier in her run at the event just outside of Cincinnati, giving her her first victory over a top-20 opponent in four years. After missing nearly six months due to injury, Williams is ranked No 407 in the world with a 3-6 record this season.

The 43-year-old tennis icon has been granted a wild card to the US Open, which starts on 28 August. After making it to the final in her first appearance at Flushing Meadows in 1997, Venus Williams won back-to-back championships there in 2000-01.

US Open organisers are thrilled to have the former champion in the field.

An announcement reads: “Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Venus Williams and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki are at the top of the list of the eight players awarded wild cards into the 2023 US Open women’s singles main draw.

“They’ll be joined by Americans Ashlyn Krueger, Robin Montgomery, Kayla Day and Clervie Ngounoue, as well as Australia’s Storm Hunter and France’s Fiona Ferro as part of reciprocal wild-card agreements with Tennis Australia and the French tennis federation.

“This year’s tournament will be Williams’ 24th main draw appearance in Queens, where she won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001. Now 43, the former No. 1 missed nearly six months on the court due to injury this year, but made her return during the grass-court season. Never a player to be counted out, Williams clinched her first Top 20 win since 2019 two days ago at the WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati, defeating Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets.

“Wozniacki, 33, is making her first Grand Slam appearance since retiring after the 2020 Australian Open to start a family. Now with two small children, 2-year-old Olivia and 6-month-old James, the former world No. 1 and 2018 Australian Open champion is returning to the courts where she was the women’s singles finalist in 2009 and 2014.”

READ MORE: How Serena Williams keeps sister Venus going on the WTA Tour