Venus Williams excited about his surprise inclusion in Wimbledon mixed doubles

The 42-year-old has been out of competition for almost a year but has partnered with Jamie Murray, brother of three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, to compete in mixed doubles.

Venera had previously stated she would not be participating this week but requested a last-minute wildcard bid with Murray and the pair were then announced in a mixed doubles draw on Wednesday.

The popular couple, cheered by the crowd, even surprised themselves when they beat Alicia Rosolskaya and Michael Venus 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-3 on Friday.

“I didn’t have a plan to play. I saw the grass and got excited,” Williams said.

“I was at the French Open, it’s a great event, but my heart didn’t beat the same. Not that I could play, but… I had no plans. That’s why I asked (Murray) at the last minute.”

The couple proved popular with the Wimbledon crowd.

Wimbledon in priority

During her career, Williams has won Wimbledon five times in women’s singles and six times in doubles, but she never succeeded in mixed doubles – she lost in the final in 2006.

Her partner Murray has won five mixed doubles titles, including two at Wimbledon in 2007 and 2017.

Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon with a confident win over Miomir Kechmanovic.

On Friday, the pair seemed to have converged, with Murray dominating his serve and Venus sharper at the net.

“It’s one of the few tournaments I haven’t won, so I usually pay a little more attention to it,” Williams added.

Like her sister, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, there is a feeling that this could be one of the last times fans will be able to see Venus at Wimbledon. Williams, 40, lost in her first round match on Tuesday to France’s Harmony Tan.

But while she doesn’t expect to win every match, she says she’s just excited to compete at the highest level again.

“It was definitely a super last minute. Just inspired by Serena. Like I said, it was amazing. I was just so happy to have received so much help today,” she said.

The pair will now face British duo Alicia Barnett and Johnny O’Mara in the round of 16 on Sunday.