Serena Williams withdraws from U.S. Open as top-ranked player still recovers from foot injury
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By: Sam Pit
That was assured Friday when top-ranked Serena Williams, winner of 13 major titles, announced she was pulling out of the U.S. Open due to her ongoing recovery from foot surgery - an operation she underwent in mid-July in Los Angeles after reportedly cutting her right foot on a glass in a Munich restaurant earlier in the month.
"It is with much frustration and deep sadness that I am having to pull out of the U.S. Open," Williams, 28, said in a statement, calling it "one of the most devastating moments of my career."
Williams, who won Wimbledon in typically brilliant form on July 3, has captured three titles at the Open, which begins Aug. 30. She was a heavy favorite to pick up her fourth title a year ago, before she was defaulted at the end of her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters for directing a tirade at a line judge who called her for a foot-fault at a pivotal point in the match. Brandishing her racket and spewing obscenities, Williams' outburst earned her a record fine of $82,500 from the sport's Grand Slam Committee, which also put her on probation for what it termed a "major offense of aggravated behavior."
Following her surgery, Williams withdrew from three hard-court tournaments this summer, but had held out hope that she might be ready for the Open. This is her first missed major since Wimbledon in 2006. For a player whose trademark has long been her peerless ability to deliver on the biggest stages, the idea of having to skip a major is a significant blow. The USTA can't be thrilled about losing its biggest female star, either.
Said tournament director Jim Curley in a statement: "We regret that Serena Williams is unable to play the U.S. Open and wish her a speedy recovery. She will be missed, but the tournament is about the competition and the players on the court. This year's U.S. Open will be a memorable event, as it has been every year."
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