Wimbledon boost for Andy Murray, Venus Williams

Wimbledon awarded wildcards to Andy Murray and Venus Williams

Andy Murray and Venus Williams were given wildcards for Wimbledon

Wimbledon awarded wildcards to former champions Andy Murray and Venus Williams.

Murray, who won the second of his two Wimbledon titles in 2016, has struggled with injuries in the past few years and his current rank of 124 is outside the cut-off for direct qualification.

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The 34-year-old beat Frenchman Benoit Paire at Queen’s on Tuesday in his first singles match since March.

Five-time champion Williams, 40, is ranked 103rd in the world.

Her French Open campaign came to an early end when she was beaten in the first round by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.

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Meanwhile, World No 2 Naomi Osaka’s name is still on the entry list of the grasscourt major. Osaka had withdrawn from the French Open after being fined for skipping the post-match press conference.

In her statement she had mentioned that she is battling mental health issues and could take a break from the game. The 23-year-old has not played since her French Open withdrawal.

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All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said as things stood Osaka would be at the Championships, which get under way on June 28.

“We’ve reached out to her team, we haven’t spoken to Naomi herself,” said Bolton.

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“At this point in time she’s entered into the championships and we haven’t received confirmation that she won’t compete.”

Wimbledon, cancelled last year due to the coronavirus, is a government pilot event to test the return of large crowds to events.

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Centre Court and No.1 Court will open at 50 per cent capacity at the start of the tournament on June 28 while the smaller show courts will be permitted to open at 75 per cent capacity.

Organisers are planning to increase ticket allocations later in the event and aim to have 100 percent capacity on Centre Court for the semi-finals and finals.

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