Venus Williams

Venus Williams looks forward to more competitive tennis this summer at age 43

Tennis legend Venus Williams says sustaining her mental health has helped her remain competitive on tour


Venus Williams through the phases of her career.

Venus Williams has a big summer of tennis ahead of her.

While the 43-year-old former world No. 1 hasn't found much recent success on the highly competitive WTA tour, she is setting her sights in a positive direction as grasscourt season is underway.

Most recently, Williams picked up a first-round win at the Birmingham Classic, a warmup tournament for Wimbledon held in England, against top-50-ranked Italian Camila Giorgi. It was Williams' first top-50 singles victory since 2019.

After the three-set battle, the tennis legend found out that Wimbledon was extending her a wild card into the main draw of singles. The All England Club is a place Williams has captured five singles titles in her 23 appearances. She also has six doubles titles there with her sister, Serena.

While the 10-time singles Grand Slam champion has yet to reveal her full 2023 summer schedule, she is optimistic it will include a fair amount of competition in front of fans who have watched her play over the decades.

"I’m excited to keep building on my performance as I continue playing throughout the summer tournament season," Williams told NBC Sports. "Ultimately, I’m just so happy to continue doing what I love."

Williams credits sustaining her mental health to being able to remain competive on tour. Even after coming back from a string of injuries, she says she feels recharged and energized to be back.

"Tennis … is as mental as it is physical. You can be the strongest, fastest player in the world with the best technique, but if you’re not mentally strong, you’ll never be able to succeed at the highest level," she admitted. "If I weren’t consciously working to sustain my mental health, I wouldn’t be able to play as long as I have at this level."

Ahead of the Birmingham Classic, Williams competed at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in her first match since January but fell in the first round to 17-year-old Celine Naef.

While the match outcome wasn't fully positive, Williams had Serena in her box, providing moral support. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion retired from professional tennis after the 2022 U.S. Open. The sisters competed in their last doubles match together in New York.

"Serena has always been my rock, and we’ve been rooting for each other and supporting each other our entire lives," Williams said. "More than anyone in the world, she knows exactly what I’m feeling when I step on the court to play, so it’s a comfort to have her there cheering me on."

Early on in Williams' career, she prioritized taking care of her mental health. Knowing how vital it is to have an uplifting family by her side, she decided to pay that support forward.

Williams partnered with BetterHelp -- an extensive network of trained and licensed therapists -- to help others prioritize their mental well being. Anyone can use Williams' code at BetterHelp ( to start speaking with a licensed therapist free for one month to "see how therapy can change their lives."

Is Venus Williams retired?

The tennis legend is very much so still playing tennis competitively.

Is Venus Williams playing 2023 Wimbledon?

The five-time Wimbledon singles champion is playing the grasscourt Grand Slam this year.

She was awarded a wild card to play singles.

Is Venus Williams playing doubles with Serena Williams at 2023 Wimbledon?

How nice it would be to see the Williams sisters take the doubles court one last time.

Serena announced her retirement after the 2022 U.S. Open. The duo played their last doubles match there in front of a packed New York crowd.

When does Venus Williams play next?

William is set to take on Jelena Ostapenko in the Round of 16 of the Birmingham Classic on Thursday.

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