Serena Williams pulls out of Italian Open with Achilles problem

Serena Williams has pulled out of the upcoming Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome due to an Achilles injury.

The American’s bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title ended with a defeat to Victoria Azarenka at Flushing Meadows on Thursday, a match in which she took a medical timeout to have her left ankle re-taped due to the Achilles problem.

“I regretfully must withdraw from The Internazionali BNL d’Italia due to an Achilles strain,” Williams said in a statement.

“I’m so humbled by the continuous support from my fans in Rome and I look forward to making my return soon.”

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Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and top-ranked Ash Barty have also pulled out of the women’s event.

“Unfortunately, I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Rome this year,” Kvitova said.

“It is always one of my favourite places to visit and I really look forward to being back in Italy next year. I wish the tournament every success and congratulate them on all their hard work to put on a safe event.”

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