World #1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to a left-knee injury. As a result, the 35-year old will also lose her No.1 ranking to Germany’s Angelique Kerber.
Serena has also confirmed that she will miss the Miami Open which is scheduled to take place later this month. Williams made a return to the Californian tournament in 2015 after boycotting the event for 14 years due to racial abuse at the venue. Last year, Serena lost the title clash at Indian Wells from Victoria Azarenka in straight sets by a scoreline of 6-4, 6-4.
— WTA (@WTA) March 7, 2017
The news of Serena’s withdrawal came out after a day WTA announced the draw on Tuesday. Now, the seeds will once again be re-shuffled with No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova taking her place at the top of the draw.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 7, 2017
Serena went past former German legend Steffi Graff earlier this year after clinching her record 23rd Grand Slam title beating elder sister Venus Williams in the final of Australian Open. The American has not competed in any WTA event since her win at Melbourne Park.
Williams later issued a statement, saying, “Sadly, I have to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open. I have not been able to train due to my knees and am disappointed I cannot be there. I will keep moving forward and continue to be positive. I look forward to being back as soon as I can.”
— WTA (@WTA) March 8, 2017
Irrespective of the outcome of the tournament, Angelique Kerber will once again claim her No.1 ranking in WTA table.