Italian Open: Caroline Wozniacki withdraws from first-round match with injury

Venus Williams 'Serena starts as favorite vs me? I can't talk about it...'

Venus Williams 'Serena starts as favorite vs me? I can't talk about it...'

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

Twenty-three time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams plans to compete at the French Open despite withdrawing from the Italian Open with a knee injury.

"I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee", Serena said in a statement.

Serena Williams, of the United States, enters the central court to start her match against Sweden's Rebecca Peterson at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Monday, May, 13, 2019. "I will miss the fans and competition at one of my favorite tournaments".

Four-time Rome victor Serena, 37, had eased through 6-4, 6-2 her first-round match against Swedish qualifier Petersen.

11, losing to Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-final of the Australian Open and retiring against Garbine Muguruza at Indian Wells before withdrawing in Miami. Venus received a walkover into the third round.

This is not the first time this year that Williams has withdrawn from a tournament.

The withdrawal puts Williams' French Open in serious doubt, facing the possibility of having to play seven matches over two weeks if she wants to conquer Roland Garros. She has done so in her last three tournaments.

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