New York, Aug 25 (EFE).- American tennis great Serena Williams announced Wednesday that she will not compete in the upcoming US Open due to a hamstring injury.
In a brief statement on her Instagram account, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said she made the decision after careful consideration and taking into account the recommendations of her doctors and medical team.
“I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring,” Williams, who will turn 40 on Sept. 26, wrote.
It marks the latest setback in a frustrating summer for a player regarded by many pundits and fans as the greatest of all time.
Williams was forced to retire during the opening set of her first-round match at Wimbledon in late June when she injured her ankle in slippery conditions on Centre Court.
She then pulled out of the Tokyo Games, saying there were “a lot of reasons” she would not seek to add to her haul of four Olympic gold medals (tied for most all-time with her sister Venus).
Williams has been stuck on 23 major singles titles, one short of the all-time record held by Australia’s Margaret Court, since January 2017, when the then-35-year-old won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant with her daughter Olympia.
Since that triumph, Williams – now world No. 22 – has remained one of the top competitors at Grand Slam tournaments yet is 0-4 in major finals, including the 2018 and 2019 US Open tournaments.
“New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favorite places to play,” the six-time US Open champion wrote in her Instagram post. “I’ll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone on from afar. Thank you for your continued support and love. I’ll see you soon.”
Williams is the latest tennis icon to pull out of this year’s US Open, which also has been hit by the injury withdrawals of men’s tennis greats Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain.
She would have been on the short-list of favorites in the women’s singles draw along with defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan and Australian world No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty.
The US Open main draw will kick off on Aug. 30 and will run through Sept. 12.
All eyes will be on Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who will be looking to set the record for most men’s Grand Slam singles titles and also trying to become the first male player since 1969 (Rod Laver) to win tennis’ four most prestigious titles (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) in the same calendar year.
Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are currently tied with 20 major titles apiece. EFE