Two more former World No.1s will return to the BNP Paribas Open next month, as both Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki have received wild cards for the WTA 1000 event.

The tournament announced its main-draw entry list last week, which includes all of the WTA’s current Top 10, and announced both Williams and Wozniacki as wild-card additions on Tuesday.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek, World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and defending champion Elena Rybakina will headline the field at the long-standing WTA 1000 event, and Wozniacki joins a roster of former champions in the draw that also includes Victoria Azarenka, Paula Badosa, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka.

Former World No.1 Williams, now 43, hasn’t played since last summer’s US Open as a consequence of a knee injury that she suffered at Wimbledon last July, but said in an update to fans in a video on her YouTube channel last month that she hoped to make a return for the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami — spurred on in part by encouragement from her sister, Serena Williams.

“My little sister, Serena, told me I’m not allowed to quit, and of course, I would never quit,” she said, calling competing at Indian Wells and Miami a “big goal.”

“But it’s the mandate. She said no, so I will be back on the court.”

Wozniacki is 1-2 in the young 2023 season, and Indian Wells is slated to be her third event this year as a wild card; she lost her first match at the ASB Classic in Auckland and was beaten in the second round of the Australian Open.

Williams last played in Indian Wells in 2019, while 2011 champion Wozniacki — who announced her return to competitive tennis last year after a nearly three-year retirement — will return to Tennis Paradise for the first time since that year as well. The Dane was also a finalist at the tournament in 2013.

Main-draw action at the 2024 BNP Paribas Open will be played from March 6-17.


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