Venus Williams made a return to the court Tuesday at the Libéma Open for her first match in more than five months.
The 42-year-old had not competed since the second round of the ASB Classic in New Zealand. in January. While she defeated Katie Volynets in the match, she suffered a hamstring injury, forcing her to withdraw from that tournament and from the Australian Open.
Her comeback came via wild-card entry to the Libéma Open. The first-round match marked her first time playing in the Netherlands and her first singles tournament on grass since Wimbledon in 2021. (She participated in mixed doubles at Wimbledon last year.)
Competing against Celine Naef, Williams won her first set 6-3 but lost the second set in a tiebreak 7-6 (7-3). Naef, a 17-year-old who also received a wild-card entry to the tournament, took the third set 6-2 to win the match.
Among those in attendance to watch the match was Venus’ younger sister Serena Williams, who announced her retirement from tennis last year. In May, she announced that she is pregnant with her second child.
Venus' number 1 fan 🤩@serenawilliams | #LibemaOpen pic.twitter.com/RN8mednO7n— wta (@WTA) June 13, 2023
Venus' number 1 fan 🤩@serenawilliams | #LibemaOpen pic.twitter.com/RN8mednO7n