Venus Williams has snubbed a number of tennis’ biggest stars by not including them in a three-person list of players that she would invite to dinner. The 42-year-old has not played a singles match on tour since August of last year but is expected to make her long-awaited return to action at next month’s Washington Open.
Williams, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest female players ever along with her sister Serena Williams, recently held an Instagram Q&A session via EleVen, a women’s only clothing line that she founded back in 2006. She was asked by a fan to name the players that she would invite for a hypothetical dinner party but overlooked the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal by opting for her three closest friends in the sport.
“Serena Williams, Reilly Opelka, and Grigor Dimitrov, sorry, just have to pick my best friends on tour,” explained Williams in response.
It seemed obvious that Williams would name her sister as the first pick, with the pair having dominated women’s tennis for the best part of the last two decades. She is also close friends with Opelka and is often spotted hanging out with the 24-year-old, who has clinched two ATP titles since the beginning of the year.
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Dimitrov is also well-acquainted with the Williams sisters, often praising them in the media, and has even practiced with them on a number of previous occasions. He recently tweeted that he was ‘proud’ of the duo after they appeared on the cover of last month’s edition of American magazine Harper’s Bazaar.
Williams, meanwhile, is gearing up for a return to the singles court ahead of this year’s US Open, which is set to get underway in late August. She featured at Wimbledon but only in the mixed doubles alongside Jamie Murray, with the pair reaching the last 16 before they were knocked out at the hands of Jonny O’Mara and Alicia Barnett.
Her focus will now be on preparing to play in the singles tournament at the upcoming Washington Open before competing once again in Toronto a week later. She will be joined by her sister on the hard courts in Canada after their joint participation was officially confirmed by organizers earlier this month.
“We are thrilled to have both Venus and Serena playing the National Bank Open presented by Rogers this year,” said tournament director Karl Hale in a statement.
“They have meant a great deal to our sport and having them at a tournament really puts a spark in everyone from the fans, tournament staff, and even the other players. They’re two of the greatest players in history and we look forward to hosting them in Toronto.”
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