Citing an injury, tennis icon Serena Williams has officially withdrawn from the U.S. Open.
In June, the 39-year-old Grand Slam singles record holder tore her hamstring during the first set of her first-round match against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon. She slipped along the baseline and turned her ankle, causing an injury. Williams tried to continue playing but was in too much pain. She has not played since.
"After careful consideration and following the advice of my 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 said in an Aug. 25 statement on Instagram. "New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favorite places to play -- I'll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone from afar."
Williams has been a semifinalist or better in her last 11 appearances at the U.S. Open. However, in world tennis rankings, Williams has fallen to No. 22 after a loss to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open in January. Since then she has only played eight matches, one of them was an exit at the French Open during play against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina. Williams had only played in six games before injuring herself while playing Sasnovich.
According to USA Today, she is in danger of falling to No. 30 because she will now not be able to defend points gained when she made the U.S. Open semifinals in 2020.
Her withdrawal from the event now takes even more of the popular tennis attractions from the matches because other champions including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka are all out with injuries.