23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2021 US Open, as revealed on her Instagram story Wednesday morning.
The six-time US Open champion has not played a match since a slip in her first round match at Wimbledon caused her to retire mid-way through the first set in heartbreaking scenes. Had she participated at this year’s US Open, she would have been seeded No.22 at the tournament.
Her Instagram story read: “After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to all0w my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring. New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favourite places to play – I’ll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone from afar. Thank you for your continued support and love. I’ll see you soon (red heart emoji).”
Serena Williams pulls out of #USOpen
Serena, turning 40 next month, made semifinals at the last two hardcourt Slams.
She’s made four Slam finals since returning from maternity leave in 2018.
She hasn’t done as much as she’d wanted, but what she’s done is truly remarkable. pic.twitter.com/xM3YY9Antv
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 25, 2021
This is yet another big blow to the tournament given the many big withdrawals in the Men’s Singles event: defending champion Dominic Thiem, as well as other former champions Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Stan Wawrinka.
First grand slam without one of Federer, Nadal and Serena since the 1997 US Open.
— The Big 3 (@Big3Tennis) August 25, 2021
As unfortunate sad as the absence of Serena Williams is, it was very unlikely that she was going to be lifting the title in New York. She would always have had a chance of getting to the final on hard courts. but due to her quest for a historic 24th Grand Slam to tie Margaret Court’s record, she ends up struggling in finals. In all her four Grand Slam finals since her return to the WTA following the birth of her daughter Olympia, nerves now take over. She doesn’t move her feet or hit balls inside the court enough to pose a threat to her opponent in finals.
Nevertheless, she is still arguably one of the most the consistent players in the Grand Slams in terms of not losing in the early rounds to unheralded players. With many top players on tour currently inconsistent in the biggest events, expect the Women’s Singles draw to be absolute carnage on one of the sport’s biggest stages yet again!
Main Photo from Getty.