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Venus and Serena Williams awarded doubles wild-card entry to French Open

Venus Williams and Serena Williams will make their first doubles appearance at a major in two years at the 2018 French Open. (AP)

Venus and Serena Williams have been awarded a wild-card entry as a doubles pair to the 2018 French Open, marking their first appearance at a major tournament together in two years.

The duo won the 1999 and 2010 French Open doubles championship and was awarded a wild-card entry Wednesday morning. Overall, Venus and Serena have racked up 14 Grand Slam wins as doubles partners, but have only made appearances at the French Open twice since the 2010 win. They lost in the first round in 2013, and the third in 2016.

Both sisters are expected to compete in the singles tournament as well; Serena is slated to make her first Grand Slam appearance since winning the 2017 Australian Open, then taking time off to give birth to her first child.

Serena Williams in her match against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the Miami Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla, on March 21. (AP)

Serena made her 2018 return in a doubles match with Venus at the Fed Cup in February. She has since competed alone at both the BNP Paribas Open, where she was eliminated by her sister after three matches, and the Miami Open, where she lost in the first round to Naomi Osaka. In early May, she pulled out of both the Madrid Open and Italian Open, raising questions as to whether she would show at the French Open.

If she does play singles, it is likely Serena will have to face high-ranking players early in the tournament, as the French Open adheres to the World Tennis Association’s seeding rules. Serena was ranked No. 1 when she went on maternity leave, but is now ranked No. 453 by the WTA; Venus is currently No. 9 in the world.

Several of Serena’s top competitors have voiced their support, advocating for a WTA rule change, but any such amendment would not take effect until next year.

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