Venus Williams has requested a last-minute wildcard into the Wimbledon mixed doubles draw with partner and British player Jamie Murray.
The pair have never previously played together but could follow in the footsteps of their famous siblings Serena and Andy, who became fan favourites when they got to the third round together at the All England Club in 2019.
The elder Williams sister's presence at Wimbledon this year has come as much as a shock as Serena's sudden comeback at Eastbourne last week.
A five-time champion in singles here, Williams has been on an extended break from competitive tennis. She has not played on tour since last August, pulling out of the US Open due to a leg injury.
She addressed her potential participation at Wimbledon on social media last month by confirming she did not intend to play at the third major major, writing on Instagram: “No I’m not playing but I’ll be watching, I’ll be watching Serena.”
At 42, some envisioned she may be winding down to retirement, and her decision not to enter the main singles draw here suggested as much. But at the weekend she set tongues wagging about her intentions when she was spotted practising at the All England Club on the Aorangi Park outside courts.
It turns out she has elected to play in doubles with Murray and is expected to be awarded a wildcard when the full list of entries is finalised on Wednesday morning. The draw will take place later that day.
Former world No 1 doubles player Murray, 36, is a two-time mixed doubles champion at Wimbledon, last winning the title with Martina Hingis in 2017.
He is also gunning for his first title here in the men's doubles with partner Bruno Soares of Brazil.
Should he land either title in the men’s or mixed doubles, Murray will surpass Virginia Wade’s British record for Grand Slam titles, with the pair currently tied on seven.