Venus Williams is eyeing a return to tennis this spring at the WTA 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami, and she's crediting sister Serena for (at least some) of the motivation to do it.

In a YouTube video posted to her official channel over the weekend, Williams opened up for the first time on the knee injury—which she suffered in the second game of her Wimbledon first-round match against Elina Svitolina on Centre Court—that curtailed her ambitions last summer and fall. Though she played three more tournaments in 2023, and scored what was then a Top 10 victory against Veronika Kudermetova in Cincinnati—Williams was suffering behind the scenes with swelling and pain that sometimes hindered her ability to even walk.

In an attempt to play the US Open, she said, she took a cortisone injection for the first time in her career, a week prior to the start of the fortnight. (She lost 6-1, 6-1 in the first round to Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, the most lopsided US Open defeat of her career.) The loss not only sparked an "honest conversation" with herself, but some candid advice from Serena, as she plotted another extended rehab.

"My little sister, Serena, told me I'm not allowed to quit, and of course, I would never quit," Williams said. "But it's the mandate. She said no, so I will be back on the court."


The former world No.1 is a three-time champion in Miami, which both sisters had long dubbed their home tournament, and also reached the final in 2010. (Both Venus and Serena Williams famously had a more-than decade-long boycott of the Indian Wells tournament, stemming from a racist spectator incident during their 2001 quarterfinal at the event. Serena returned in 2015, and Venus in 2016.)

But Williams hasn't played the Sunshine Double in four years due to injuries, and she dubbed a return to both tournaments a "big goal" amongst "many" that she still has at age 43.

"It's a long time. ... It's a lot of years not to play at home. So that's of course one of my big goals on the horizon, is to be there, prepare to do that," she confessed.

"In the meantime, I just have to go back to rehab ... I never back down. So that's where I am, I'm back in the gym getting strong, and until that time, thank you guys for the support."