The 42-year-old hasn’t played competitively in nearly a year, but has partnered with Jimmy Murray, brother of Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, to compete in mixed doubles.
Venus had previously said she would not be participating this week, but requested a last-minute wild card entry with Murray, then the pair were announced in the mixed doubles draw on Wednesday.
The popular duo, cheered by the fans, surprised even themselves when they beat Alicia Rosolska and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-7 (7) 6-3 on Friday.
“I didn’t have a plan to play,” Williams said. “I saw the grass and got excited.”
“I was at the French Open, it’s a beautiful event, but my heart didn’t beat the same way. I can’t play but… I had no plans. That’s why I asked (Murray) at the last minute.”
In her career, Williams won the Wimbledon women’s singles title five times and the doubles title six times but never succeeded in the mixed doubles – she lost in the final in 2006.
Her partner Murray has won five mixed doubles titles including two at Wimbledon in 2007 and 2017.
The duo seemed to be clicking on Friday, with Murray controlling his serve while Venus sharpened into the net.
“It’s one of the only winners I haven’t won, so I usually give a little more priority here,” Williams added.
Just like her sister, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, there is a feeling this may be one of the last time fans will get to see Venus at Wimbledon. The 40-year-old Williams lost her opening match on Tuesday to Frenchwoman Harmony Tan.
But while she doesn’t expect to win every match, she says she is just happy to compete at the highest level again.
She said, “She was absolutely amazing at the last minute. Inspired by Serena. Like I said, she was amazing. I was so happy to get so much help today.”
The pair will now face Britain’s Alicia Barnett and Johnny O’Mara in the Round of 16 on Sunday.