(Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Venus Williams will make her 22nd appearance at the Australian Open in January after being awarded a wild-card entry to play in the first major of 2023.

The 42-year-old made her first appearance at the Australian Open 25 years ago.

“I’ve been competing in the country for over 20 years now and the Australian community has always supported me wholeheartedly,” Williams said in a statement. “It will be an honor to play for the fans again and I’m looking forward to making more memories at the tournament this year.”

Williams hasn’t played in a singles match since the 2022 US Open, where she lost in the first round to Alison Van Uytvanck.

When asked about her future following the match, Williams said that she was “just focused on the doubles.” The 42-year-old played doubles at the tournament with sister Serena, 41, for the first time since 2014, but they lost in the opening round.

A two-time finalist at the Australian Open, she hasn’t played in that tournament since 2021.

“Venus is not just an incredible player and fan favorite, she’s a great role model and leader in our sport in so many ways,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.