Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Venus Williams has bowed her way out of the top 10 at an event where she was once a top favorite.
Williams withdrew on Tuesday from the U.S. Open and her first ever major, with Williams and her sister Serena tied for No. 3 in the world. The pair will meet again on Sept. 11 in the Australian Open Grand Slam, the first major of the year.
Williams withdrew because of a hip problem, one of the worst things a professional athlete can have to go through in a major. A day after making the decision to withdraw, Williams tweeted: “I’m doing it. It’s hard to leave in the first round? Yeah I understand it’s hard but I have to.”
The decision was widely expected.
After Williams failed to win a tournament in five months, she said in April that she was suffering from back and foot pain. She had previously made the U.S. Open the hardest event of the year with the same back and foot problems that have plagued her for much of her career.
Williams withdrew from next week’s Australian Open and Wimbledon — two tournaments that she has both won — because of back and foot problems, a statement said.
She also said she had been “a little bit fatigued” and would be “a little bit more cautious” at Wimbledon.
Last month, she missed the final of the Rogers Cup — the Canadian Open’s warm-up tournament — at the National Tennis Center in Toronto. She will play a qualifier at the U.S. Open on Friday.
Williams, the former world number one, began the U.S. Open as a favorite and was favored to win this week’s final match against No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, who also withdrew on Tuesday. But after Williams missed winning five of seven matches, she was a short-priced favourite.
Williams, 25, has a 15-10 record this year, with seven wins at majors and two at the U.S.