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Serena, Venus Williams absent from Wimbledon entry list

Sportsnaut
Jun 29, 2021; London, United Kingdom;  Serena Williams (USA) seen playing Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) in first round ladies singles on centre court at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. 
 Mandatory Credit: Peter Van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Peter Van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The tennis world could be headed for its first Wimbledon without one of the Williams sisters since 1997.

Neither Serena Williams nor Venus Williams were on the list of entrants for the ladies’ singles draw that the All England Club released Friday evening.

Serena Williams, 40, has not competed since she retired from her first-round match at Wimbledon last year. She remains at 23 major titles, needing one more to tie Margaret Court for most all-time.

Venus Williams, who will be 42 by the time Wimbledon commences June 27, hasn’t competed anywhere since last August.

Either of the sisters, who have 12 Wimbledon titles between them, could still request an invitation as a wild card.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek leads the field with the No. 1 ranking. This year’s tournament will not feature any Russian or Belarusian players after the All England Club made the decision not to let them compete due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ support for the move.

Naomi Osaka of Japan was ranked No. 38 in the world coming into the French Open, and has been rising up through the rankings after playing fewer tournaments in 2021. Osaka previously had said she was undecided about competing, as the WTA responded to Wimbledon’s ban of Russians and Belarusians by announcing it would not award any ranking points for Wimbledon this year.

Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez was absent from the list as well. Fernandez suffered a right foot injury during a loss at the French Open earlier this week in Paris.

–Field Level Media