Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Italian Open because of pain on the left knee. The American tennis star was due to meet her sister Venus Williams at the second round of the tournament. She promised she would take part in the French Open.
Another top-seeded star Caroline Wozniacki too has withdrawn from the Italian Open owing to injury.
Serena’s Continued Tryst with Injury
The 23-time grand slam champion was one of the favorites to win the tournament. She has won the Italian Open crown four times. She won it for the first time in 2002 as an emerging teenager under the shadow of her sibling. The second crown took a long time coming: in 2012. She won the title at Rome twice again: in 2013 and 2016.
This is the third straight major tournament she is missing because of injury. A viral illness forced her exit midway through the tournament at Indian Wells. She was retired from a third-round at the Miami Open because of a similar injury to the left knee. The continuance of injury-forced exits has raised concerns about her participation in the upcoming French Open.
She allayed the fears that she would miss the French Open. She said in a statement conveyed to the media:
“I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee. I will miss the fans and competition at one of my favorite tournaments. I’ll be concentrating on rehab and look forward to seeing you all at the French Open and next year in Rome.”
The French Open begins on May 26. For the record, Serena Williams has won the title three times at Roland Garros: in 2002, 2013 and 2015. The French Open crowns kind of coincide with her good showings in Rome.
Wozniacki Pulls Out Too
She retired from the first-round match against Danielle Collins because of a leg injury. She had lost the first set in tie-breaker. The injury has put the former world number one’s participation in the French Open in doubt.
Wozniacki has never won the French Open. Her best performance has been a fourth-round appearance.