Tennis world in frenzy over Venus Williams moment at Wimbledon

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Venus Williams, pictured here making a surprise return at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles.
Venus Williams made a surprise return at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles. Image: Getty/Wimbledon

Venus Williams made a shock return to Wimbledon on Friday, teaming up with Jamie Murray to beat Michael Venus and Alicja Rosolska in the mixed doubles.

The 42-year-old Williams made a last-minute request for a wildcard into the mixed doubles draw after it was initially thought that she wouldn't play the grass-court grand slam.

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Venus hadn't played since August last year in Chicago after suffering an injury in the second round at Wimbledon.

The lengthy absence had fans speculating that she was on the verge of announcing her retirement, however she was a shock entrant into the mixed doubles draw at the 11th hour.

On Friday she teamed up with Murray to win 6-3 6-7 (3) 6-3 in their first-round clash.

The pair said their decision to play was last-minute, but Williams revealed she had wanted to partner the British star for some time.

"He played hard to get," she said. "I wanted to play with him for ages but it was super last-minute."

Williams said when she first arrived in London, it wasn't her intention to get back on the courts.

"I was at the French Open which is beautiful but my heart didn't beat the same way as when I saw the grass," she said.

“I had no plan to play but I saw the grass and I got excited.

“I had no plans. That’s why I was asking him last minute. He just had a baby too, so I know there’s a lot going on."

Jamie Murray and Venus Williams, pictured here in action at Wimbledon.
Jamie Murray and Venus Williams in action at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Williams was initially only at Wimbledon to support sister Serena, who made her return to singles competition after 12 months out.

“It’s one of the only ones I haven’t won, so I usually put a little more priority here," she said.

"Just inspired by Serena. Like I said, it was amazing. I just was so happy to have so much help today.

“Definitely I couldn’t have guessed that I would be here right now, taking it at the last minute. I haven’t played in a year so you don’t know what you’re going to get.

“Practice is so much different from a match. It’s not easy physically or mentally or anything. Just at the last it was like, oh my God, wow.

“I just not only played a match but won a match. I’m never like that kind of player. I always expect to win.

"But when I sat there, we wanted to win, but when I sat there at the end, it was real. Yeah I felt something in my heart.”

Fans were left in a frenzy by Venus' surprise appearance, which included a funny moment in the first set in which the ball got stuck in the throat of her racquet.

Venus Williams makes shock return at Wimbledon

Venus' team-up with Jamie Murray comes after Serena and Andy Murray played together at Wimbledon in 2019.

Venus, a seven-time grand slam singles champion (including five at Wimbledon), is also a two-time grand slam mixed doubles champion.

Both of those titles came back in 1998 alongside Justin Gimelstob at the Australian Open and French Open.

She was runner-up in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2006 with Bob Bryan.

Jamie Murray and Venus Williams, pictured here celebrating their victory at Wimbledon.
Jamie Murray and Venus Williams celebrate their victory at Wimbledon. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Murray is a five-time slam champion in mixed, winning Wimbledon in 2007 and 2017 with Jelena Jankovic and Martina Hingis respectively.

"I was supposed to play with Venus last year but I hurt my neck," said the 36-year-old.

"I couldn't say no twice. It was amazing to be on the court with such a champion."

Earlier this week Serena Williams and Andy Murray both exited the singles.

Serena lost to unseeded French player Harmony Tan in her first singles match for 12 months, while Murray was defeated in the second round by John Isner - his earliest exit ever at Wimbledon.

with agencies

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