Venus to make long-awaited return to Sydney

Published by Matt Trollope

Venus Williams's last appearance in singles at the Sydney International came back in 1999; Getty Images
Venus Williams will appear at the Sydney International for the first time in almost 20 years after confirming her place in the 2018 field.

Venus Williams will play in Sydney for the first time since 2001 after announcing she would head for the Harbour City in January 2018.

Williams first played at the Sydney International 20 years ago, advancing to the 1998 final as a teenager – back in her famous beaded-hair days – where she eventually fell to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Her only other appearance in the singles event was in 1999, when she lost in the quarterfinals to Steffi Graf.

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That was the last year the tournament was staged at White City before moving to the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, which was also the site of the Sydney 2000 Olympic tennis event – where Williams won singles and doubles gold.

She played the Sydney International just once more, in 2001, and it was in doubles only – partnering sister Serena, they fell in a classic first-round encounter against Martina Hingis and Monica Seles.

“This was one of the earliest tournaments I ever played and has always held a special place in my heart,” Williams said.

“The last time I played (singles) in the Sydney International I was 18-years-old, so a lot has changed in this time.

“I have been playing some really great tennis this year and I feel I’m in a strong position, both physically and mentally, in the lead up to Sydney.

“The Australian summer is always a favourite of mine, I really love the atmosphere the crowds bring and I’m confident in my preparation over the next few months to put on a good show for the Australian fans.”

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