Serena, Venus Williams out of US Open; 1st time since 2003

Aug 25, 2021, 5:05 AM | Updated: 4:17 pm

Serena and Venus Williams added themselves to the list of big-name withdrawals from the U.S. Open on Wednesday, making this the first time since 2003 neither of the sisters will appear in the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

Serena, who turns 40 next month, cited a torn right hamstring that has kept her out of competition since she was injured in the first set of her first-round match at Wimbledon in late June.

Venus, who is 41, said she has a leg injury.

They announced their decisions via social media posts about 10 hours apart.

“Not the best news from Serena and I today. I, too, am unable to play the U.S. Open. It’s super super super disappointing,” Venus said. “Having some issues with my leg all this summer and just couldn’t work through it.”

The Americans join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in sitting out the competition in Flushing Meadows, where play begins next Monday, raising questions about what the future of tennis might look like without them. The draw for the tournament is Thursday.

This will be the first major tournament since the 1997 Australian Open without any of the four in the singles brackets. Venus made her Grand Slam debut at the 1997 French Open; Serena arrived the next year; Federer showed up in 1999; Nadal in 2003.

Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, a record in the professional era. Only one player in tennis history owns more, Margaret Court with 24. Venus has won seven, including at the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001.

Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic share the men’s record of 20.

“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,” Serena wrote in her post Wednesday.

Her note ended with: “I’ll see you soon.”

Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, also put up a post on social media, saying, “we’ve done everything we could” and adding: “It is heartbreaking, but this is the only possible decision.”

She has won six singles championships at the U.S. Open, most recently in 2014. In her five appearances at the hard-court tournament in New York since then, she has made it to the final twice — losing to Naomi Osaka in 2018 and Bianca Andreescu in 2019 — and the semifinals three other times, including last year.

Her best-in-the-game serve and powerful groundstrokes have allowed Serena to remain among the title contenders at the biggest tournaments, especially on hard courts and grass.

This season, she was a semifinalist at the Australian Open in February, before losing to eventual champion Osaka there. At the French Open, played on red clay, Serena lost in the fourth round to Elena Rybakina.

At Wimbledon, Serena was serving while leading 3-1 in her opening match when her left shoe seemed to lose its traction while she was hitting a forehand and her right leg flexed awkwardly.

She tried to continue but eventually needed to stop playing, only the second mid-match retirement of her Grand Slam career and first since 1998.

___

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

People lay flowers to commemorate British volunteers Chris Parry and Andrew Bagshaw, killed in Ukra...
Associated Press

Russia alleges Ukraine war crimes; friends mourn volunteer

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Friends and volunteers gathered Sunday at Kyiv’s St Sophia’s Cathedral to say goodbye to Andrew Bagshaw, a New Zealand scientist who was killed in Ukraine while he and another volunteer who also died tried to evacuate people from a front-line town. Bagshaw, 48, a dual New Zealand-British citizen, and British volunteer […]
9 hours ago
Jessie Blanchard's jeep bumper holds a sticker with the slogan "Yes We Narcan" on Monday, Jan. 23, ...
Associated Press

Experts urge better opioid rescue drug access to save lives

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Jessie Blanchard started small nearly five years ago, just trying to get enough of the rescue drug naloxone that reverses opioid overdoses to keep her daughter from dying from an overdose. She pleaded with colleagues at the college where she’s an adjunct teacher in Albany, Georgia, to use their prescription benefits […]
9 hours ago
Qatar's Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, right, shakes hands with Lebane...
Associated Press

Qatar replaces Russian company in Lebanon gas exploration

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon, two international oil giants and state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Energy signed an agreement Sunday that the Qatari firm will join a consortium that will search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast. The deal inked in Beirut brings Qatar into Lebanon’s gas exploration market three months after […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

France must raise pension age to 64, prime minister says

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister insisted Sunday that the government’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 is “no longer negotiable,” further angering parliamentary opponents and unions who plan new mass protests and disruptive strikes this week. Raising the pension age is one part of a broad bill that is the […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A mining corporation on Sunday apologized for losing a highly radioactive capsule over a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) stretch of Western Australia, as authorities combed parts of the road looking for the tiny but dangerous substance. The capsule was part of a device believed to have fallen off a truck while being transported […]
9 hours ago
FILE - The Chinese Embassy is pictured in Tokyo on Jan. 11, 2023. China announced it was resuming i...
Associated Press

China announces resumption of visas for Japanese

TOKYO (AP) — China announced it was resuming issuing visas for Japanese travelers beginning Sunday, ending its nearly three-week suspension in an apparent protest of Tokyo’s tougher COVID-19 entry requirements for tourists from China. The decision was announced in a statement posted on the Chinese Embassy’s website. China stopped issuing new visas in Japan on […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Serena, Venus Williams out of US Open; 1st time since 2003