Williams sisters will play at National Bank Open in Toronto

Serena and Venus Williams will be back at the National Bank Open this year. The sisters last played in Toronto in 2019 when Serena retired due to back spasms in the final against Canada's Bianca Andreescu. Venus received a wildcard entry into this year's main draw.

Venus, 2019 champ Serena back after 3-year absence; Andreescu awarded wildcard

From left, Serena and Venus Williams will compete in next month's National Bank Open tennis tournament in Toronto for the first time since 2019 when a teary-eyed Serena retired due to back spasms in the final. (Getty Images)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been given a wild-card entry into the main draw of the National Bank Open next month.

She will compete in Toronto for the first time since 2019 and return to WTA Tour singles play for the first time since August 2021.

The former world No. 1 and five-time Wimbledon champion last played when she partnered with Jamie Murray of Britain in Wimbledon's mixed doubles draw earlier this month. Williams is a 41-time WTA singles champion and Olympic gold medalist.

Her sister Serena Williams was on the official entry list released last week for Toronto, which would mark her first North American hard-court event in two years, and comes of the heels of her first-round exit at Wimbledon in June. Asked after that defeat whether she would play again, the 40-year-old Williams said she didn't know.

The three-time champion in Toronto last played there in 2019, when she retired because of back spasms in the final against Bianca Andreescu of Canada. Andreescu beat Serena Williams a month later in the final at the U.S. Open, for which Toronto is considered a tuneup event.

Andreescu also received a top-20 wild card for the National Bank Open.

Three more wild cards will be distributed to Canadian players closer to the start of the tournament, which runs Aug. 6-14.

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