‘Painful’: Tennis fans saddened by Serena and Venus Williams news

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Sam Goodwin

Sam Goodwin·Sports Editor

Tennis fans were left disappointed on Wednesday when Serena and Venus Williams joined a long list of top players in skipping the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The US Open lead-up event is missing some serious star power, with the Williams sisters and former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin the latest to withdraw.

Serena announced that she’s still recovering from the leg injury that saw her retire hurt in the first round at Wimbledon.

“Unfortunately, I will not be playing in the Western & Southern Open next week as I am still in recovery from my leg injury at Wimbledon,” the two-time champion said in a tournament press release.

“I will miss all of my fans in Cincinnati whom I look forward to seeing every summer. I plan to be back on the court very soon.”

The 23-time grand slam champion said she will instead focus on being healthy as she aims for a record-tying 24th title in Flushing Meadows later this month.

The tournament did not give a reason for why her sister and seven-time grand slam winner Venus had withdrawn.

World No.4 Kenin also announced that she had made the “difficult decision” not compete at the venerable Premier 5 event, which is also known as the Cincinnati Open.

“I am rehabbing well in hopes to play the US Open later this month,” said the 2020 Australian Open champion.

“I feel another week of recovery is necessary. 

Sofia Kenin, pictured here in action against Maria Sakkari at the French Open.
Sofia Kenin in action against Maria Sakkari at the French Open. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

“I want to thank the USTA for all their efforts in holding the event during such challenging times. Best of luck to all the players.”

The field in Cincinnati still boasts World No.1 and reigning Wimbledon champion Ash Barty, four-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka, and reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

Two-time and defending champion Victoria Azarenka and past Cincinnati champions Madison Keys (2019), Garbine Mugurza (2017) and Karolina Pliskova (2016) will also compete at the outdoor hard-court event.

But fans were saddened that they’ll have to wait a little longer to see Serena and Venus back in action.

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