Venus Williams & Elina Svitolina Awarded Birmingham Classic Wild Cards

Venus Williams & Elina Svitolina Awarded Birmingham Classic Wild Cards

by Alex Waite

Venus Williams will continue her return to the grass court season after receiving a wildcard entry to the 2023 Birmingham Classic, a WTA 250 event.

The five-time Wimbledon champion has already been confirmed as an entrant to the 2023 Libema Open in mid-June as she aims to build fitness and get match time for the grass season. Williams has not played competitive tennis since she had to withdraw from the ASB Classic in January due to an injury during a second-round defeat to Zhu Lin.

The 42-year-old has endured a tough spell in recent years and has fallen down to 701st in the WTA rankings as a result. Injuries and a lack of playing time have hampered the former world number one's progress, although she did win her first match in 18 months at the ASB Classic before her hamstring injury.

It will also be Williams' first appearance at the Birmingham Classic since 2019 when she reached the quarter-finals. The Lawn Tennis Association took to its official Twitter channel to announce the seven-time Grand Slam winner's entry.

In addition, Williams will be joined by former world number three Elina Svitolina in Birmingham this season as the Ukrainian player also received a wildcard entry into the event. Svitolina made her return to competitive tennis in April 2023 at the Charleston Open following the birth of her first child and she will play in Birmingham for the first time since 2018 when she reached the quarter-finals.

Since then, the 28-year-old has shown some impressive and consistent form and has risen up to 192nd in the WTA rankings. Svitolina featured at the Madrid Open and the Italian Open and won her first tour event since returning last week when she triumphed over Anna Blinkova in the Strasbourg Open final.

The 2023 Birmingham Classic starts on Monday, June 19, and concludes on Sunday, June 25.


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