Serena Williams withdraws from Italian Open
ABS-CBN Sports on May 10, 2018 09:15 AM
FILE - Serena Williams returns to Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
ROME (AP) — Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week's Italian Open, saying she needs more time to be "100 percent ready to compete."
The tournament made the announcement via Twitter.
We are so sad to announce that @serenawilliams, a 4-time Champion in Rome, has withdrawn from #ibi18. 😢 Obviously we can't wait to see her again on Foro Italico's red clay, perhaps in 2019? 🙄 pic.twitter.com/CnM8tTadhY— Internazionali Bnl (@InteBNLdItalia) May 9, 2018
Williams returned to the tour briefly this year after a 14-month absence to give birth to her daughter.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion also withdrew from this week's Madrid Open and sitting out Rome puts her status for the French Open, which starts May 27, in doubt.
Williams, a four-time Italian Open champion, has not played since her a first-round loss to Naomi Osaka in March at the Miami Open.
Catherine Bellis takes Williams' place in the Rome draw.