Tennis sensation Venus Williams will return to the nation’s capital this summer to play World Team Tennis with the Washington Kastles franchise.
Venus Williams returns a shot against Elena Vesnina, of Russia, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, will play a single home game for the franchise on July 25 at Kastles Stadium on the campus of George Washington University.
The former world no. 1 player in singles and doubles originally joined the Kastles in 2010. She went on to help the team secure the King Trophy in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
“It will be a privilege to play for the Kastles for my sixth season,” Williams said in a statement. “I have circled the date in my calendar and can’t wait to wear the Kastles red and blue in Kastles Stadium on July 25. I’ve been a part of so much history with the Kastles and I can’t wait to rejoin the team for this watershed 10th season and bring home another championship.”
Meanwhile, Sloane Stephens, a former Kastles player now on the Philadelphia Freedoms team, is expected to play in D.C. during the first few weeks of the season. Stephens, 24, is a former world no. 11 who won her first professional singles title at the 2015 Citi Open tournament.
Williams, 36, is still a formidable contender on the women’s tour. In January, she reached the Australian Open finals before losing to her younger sister, Serena Williams.
Serena Williams, who has nabbed 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is considered one of the greatest athletes ever, will not play with Kastles this season, an organizer said. Together, the sisters have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and three Olympic gold medals.
Venus Williams will join a squad already boasting other big names, including twin brothers and doubles partners Bob and Mike Bryan, as well as Hall of Famer Martina Hingis, a former world no. 1 singles player.
The regular season starts July 16 and ends Aug. 2. The top two teams will face off in the World Team Tennis finals on Aug. 5. The Kastles are scheduled to play 14 regular season matches, including seven at home, as they seek their seventh championship title.
World Team Tennis is a professional and amateur co-ed tennis league created by Hall of Famer Billie Jean King. To purchase tickets, call (202) 4-TENNIS (483-6647).