Former World No 1 Venus Williams to return to Australian Open mixed doubles with top men's doubles player Juan-Sebastian Cabal

Venus Williams lost to Coco Guaff in the first round of the singles tournament at Melbourne (PA Images)
Venus Williams lost to Coco Guaff in the first round of the singles tournament at Melbourne (PA Images)
9:33am, Thu 23 Jan 2020
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Venus Williams is set to make her first appearance in the Australian Open mixed doubles since claiming the title in 1998 alongside Justin Gimelstob.

After crashing out in the first round of the singles to the youngest player in the draw, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, the seasoned veteran has announced her time on court in Australia is not yet over.

Williams, 39, will team up with Colombia's Juan-Sebastian Cabal, who currently sits atop the ATP Tour men's doubles rankings and the pair will face China's Zheng Saisai and Belgium's Joran Vliegen in the first round.

This will be the second year running she will play mixed doubles at a Grand Slam, after partnering fellow American Frances Tiafoe at last year's Wimbledon, having not taken part since 2006.

The American already holds two career Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles, having won the Australian Open and the French Open with Gimelstob in 1998 aged only 17.

Both Williams and Cabal have held the top doubles rankings on their respective tours and will be hoping to add to their impressive tally of titles when they get their campaign in Melbourne underway on January 24.

Other notable pairings in the tournament are top seed and doubles World No 1 Barbora Strycova and Brazil's Marcelo Melo who will take on defending US Open champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands from America and her British partner Jamie Murray in a mouth-watering first round match-up.

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