Serena withdraws from WTA Finals
US superstar Serena Williams has withdrawn from the elite WTA Finals in Singapore, saying she’s still working to recover from the shoulder troubles that hindered her in 2016.
The Women’s Tennis Association announced her withdrawal from the event, which that starts on October 23, with a video of Williams explaining her decision posted to their Twitter feed.
It will be the second-straight year that Williams is skipping the season finale in Singapore due to injury.
“Hey everyone in Singapore,” Williams said. “I’m really, really bummed that I won’t be able to come compete this year.
“It’s been a really tough year for me just dealing so much with these shoulder injuries. My doctor insists that I stay home and heal it every single day.”
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has already pulled out of two tournaments in China after being knocked out of the semi-finals of the US Open.
That defeat saw the end of Williams’ 186-week reign atop the world rankings, with Germany’s Angelique Kerber claiming the top spot while capturing the Flushing Meadows title.
Williams claimed just one Grand Slam title in 2016, at Wimbledon. After that, shoulder troubles hampered her in Rio where her hopes of a fifth Olympic gold medal were crushed in the third round.
WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement that organisers were “as disappointed as the fans”.
“We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back competing, fit and healthy,” he added.
Williams’ withdrawal opens up the eighth qualification spot to Britain’s Johanna Konta, Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Either Navarro or Kuznetsova must win the title in Moscow at the VTB Kremlin Cup next week in order to edge out Konta for the eighth and final qualifying spot.
The tournament in Singapore will see reigning champion Agnieszka Radwanska defending her title against current top seed Kerber. –
South Africa’s flanker Jaco Kriel (right) tackles All Blacks centre Anton LienertBrown during a Rugby Championship match in Durban on October 8.