Serena withdraws from Italian Open with knee problem

Serena Williams withdraws from Rome with ongoing left knee injury

Serena Williams withdraws from Rome with ongoing left knee injury

In Tuesday's statement, the 23-time Grand Slam victor insisted she would still be competing in the French Open later in May.

"I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee", the 37-year-old said.

Wozniacki is ranked 12th in the world and will be hoping to be fit for the French Open, which starts on 26 May.

Tournament organizers made the announcement Tuesday, a day after Serena opened her clay-court season with a straight-sets win over Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson.

This is not the first time this year that Williams has withdrawn from a tournament.

After she returned from pregnancy in March 2018, Rome was the 11th WTA tournament for Serena and she managed to reach the quarters only at the biggest stage at Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open, with the Roland Garros participation being pretty much in doubt now as well. Venus will now play fellow American Sloane Stephens in the third round. Williams made it to the fourth round previous year at the French Open, her first grand slam since giving birth, with a pectoral injury.

Her last Grand Slam singles title was won at the Australian Open in 2017, where she was pregnant, breaking a tie with Steffi Graf for the most in the professional era.

She is a three-time French Open victor, claiming her last title in Roland Garros in 2015.