Just 24 hours before a much-anticipated showdown with sister Venus, Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Italian Open in Rome due to continued left knee issues.
“I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee,” Serena said. “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.”
In her 2019 clay debut, Serena beat Rebecca Peterson yesterday, but the 37-year-old who has won Rome four times doesn’t feel like she can give it a go tomorrow against Venus as her knee remains a problem, and at that age and after years of wear and tear, the injury is understandable.
Serena has now played four events in 2019, finishing just one at the Australian Open where she hobbled in defeat to Karolina Pliskova.
Serena will not be a Top 8 seed at the French where she withdrew a year ago to Maria Sharapova.
Speaking yesterday after the win, Serena gave no indication of any knee troubles.
“It felt good to be back in the match,” she said Monday. “It’s been a while. I haven’t played a ton of matches this year. Not my choice, just by force. I really, really actually desperately wanted to be on the tour and to be playing, but it hasn’t been able to work out.
“It felt good to finally be back out. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.”
After an epic win yesterday over Elise Mertens, Venus will have an extra day off before either Johanna Konta or Sloane Stephens on Thursday.
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