Sunday, September 20, 2020

Serena withdraws from WTA tournament on clay due to Achilles strain

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Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball during her game against Maria Sharapova of Russia during the Round 1 Women’s Singles match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 26, 2019 ( Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP)

Serena Williams withdrew from the WTA clay court tournament that begins Monday in Rome due to a left Achilles tendon injury sustained in her loss in the US Open semifinal, the tour announced on Saturday.

Williams, seeking her only record-tying 24th Grand Slam crown, lost to Victoria Azarenka in three sets Thursday on the hard court at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Former world number one, four-time Rome champion, joins 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, skipping set-up for the French Open, which begins on September 27th.

“Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from Internazionali BNL d’Italia due to an Achilles strain,” Williams said in a statement. “I am very honored by the continued support of my fans in Rome and I hope to return soon.”

Williams took a medical break in his loss in New York to have his Achilles injury treated.

“I was just stretching,” he said after the game. “I ran for a shot, and from that first step I took, it was a long point. It wasn’t my ankle, it was actually my Achilles. It just went too far. It was pretty intense. So that was it. “

Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty withdrew from Rome earlier in the week, and the Australian star said she would be closing her season due to coronavirus concerns and travel restrictions.

[AFP]

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