Venus Williams given wild card for Sony

Updated: February 23, 2012, 9:04 PM ET
Associated Press

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Venus Williams has received a wild card to play her first tournament since August at the Sony Ericsson Open next month.

Williams hasn't played singles since withdrawing after the opening round of the U.S. Open because of an autoimmune disease. She returned to competitive tennis earlier this month when she teamed with Liezel Huber for a doubles victory that capped a Fed Cup shutout for the United States against Belarus.

Williams won the Key Biscayne title in 1998, 1999 and 2001. She was a finalist in 2010 and missed the tournament last year.

Fernando Gonzalez and David Nalbandian received men's wild cards, officials said Thursday. The event begins March 20.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press