Wimbledon 2023: Wildcards for Britons, Elina Svitolina & Venus Williams

Source: BBC Sport

Five-time champion Venus Williams is among the players to receive a wildcard for next month’s Wimbledon, with a host of British players also on the list.

New British number one Katie Boulter is one of five home hopes to get wildcards into the women’s singles.

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina joins them, fresh from a run to the French Open quarter-finals in her first Grand Slam since giving birth to her daughter.

Liam Broady is one of five Britons given men’s singles wildcards.

Wildcards are awarded to players whose ranking is not high enough for them to qualify automatically and are usually offered on the basis of past performance at the tournament or to increase home interest.

Last year, Williams, 43, – who won the most recent of her singles title here in 2008 – delighted fans by teaming up with Briton Jamie Murray in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

However, it remains to be seen if there will be a similar move this year as mixed doubles entries are announced nearer to the tournament.

An excellent British week at the grass-court event in Nottingham last week is rewarded by wildcards for Boulter, who won her maiden WTA title there, runner-up Jodie Burrage, semi-finalist Heather Watson, quarter-finalist Harriet Dart and Katie Swan.

Watson had her best run at a Grand Slam at last year’s Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round, but she has described how she felt “hard done by” because of the effect of not getting ranking points at Wimbledon last year has had on her.

Usually the points for getting that far in a major would have propelled her up the rankings, helping her gain direct entry to the bigger tournaments, including Grand Slams, but instead she is currently ranked 194th in the world.

The women’s WTA and men’s ATP governing bodies did not award points last year at the All England Club in response to Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players because of the invasion of Ukraine.

As well as Broady, the British men’s singles wildcards are Ryan Peniston, Jan Choinski, George Loffhagen and Arthur Fery.

Britain’s Gordon Reid, Lucy Shuker and Gregory Slade have been given wildcards into the wheelchair events.

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