Venus shocked to be given wildcard with Andreescu

Friday, 07 July 2023

Michael Venus isn’t kidding himself that the reason why he and Bianca Andreescu were given a wildcard for the mixed doubles at Wimbledon has go anything to do with him.

The mixed doubles cut off was so high this year, that Venus and Andreescu faced the prospect of having to rely on making it in from the alternates list.

That is mainly because Andreescu is ranked 50 in the world in singles as she makes her way back from multiple injuries, so their combined ranking was bettered by other teams.

However, Venus said he was shocked when he saw their name included in the draw.

“It was nice to be able to get in the draw with Bianca,” Venus said. 

“We needed a wildcard in the end. I heard about 15 minutes before sign-in closed that we were one or two out.

“So when the draw came out I didn’t expect us to be in it. But that we’ll be alternates and hopefully we’d get in.

“But sure enough, I was scrolling down and I saw our names there, so that was quite a pleasant surprise.”

Venus and Andreescu reached the final of the French Open last month and when the Kiwi No 1 reached out to the Canadian soon after, Andreescu was keen to team up again for the grass court grand slam.

But Venus admits it’s the star power of Andreescu, who won the US Open in 2019, that helped them get the wildcard, rather than anything he’s done on a tennis court.

“The majority of their (Wimbledon’s) wildcards go to the British players,” Venus said.

“I would say the reason was because of Bianca, not me!

“Maybe because we did well at the French Open, but 90% of it was because of her and 10% because of the French Open.

“But I’m happy to be out there playing with her, because we had a good time together in the French Open and we’ll see what happens here.”

Venus and Andreescu will play Marcelo Arevalo and Marta Kostyuk in the first round of the mixed doubles on Saturday, while he has his second round of the men’s doubles on Sunday.

For the men’s doubles, he and Wimbledon favourite Jamie Murray will play the Austrian duo of Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler.

“We played them in Acapulco this year in the first round and lost, then they won the tournament there,” Venus said.

“We then played them in Geneva right before the French Open and we won that match. “They’ve been doing well as a team. I think they’re in the top 10 or 11 teams this year and they play well.

“So it’s going to be a tough match and any match on grass will come down to a few points, so we’re going to need to be on and ready from the beginning.”

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