The Williams sisters are a staple in Grand Slam tournaments but, for the first time since 2003, neither will participate in the U.S. Open.
Venus Williams announced via Twitter on Wednesday that she will join her sister, Serena Williams, in withdrawing from the tournament due to a leg injury.
In the video post, she said there have been times in the past that she has been able to figure out how to work through injuries, but that she “couldn’t make any miracles work.” She added that while she is trying to return to the court, she is not sure of a time table or target date for a return.
“I’m going to miss the Open. It’s my favorite Slam. I’ve had so many amazing memories there and I can’t wait to get back on the court, whenever that is,” Venus Williams said.
This will be the first time since the 1997 Australian Open that a Grand Slam Tournament has not featured either of the Williams sisters, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Venus Williams made her debut later that year at the French Open, and her sister reached the Grand Slam level in 1998.
Venus Williams has been steadily progressing down the WTA tennis rankings, as she dropped out of the top 50 in 2019, the top 75 in 2020 and the top 100 in 2021 (the latter moving her to her lowest ranking since 2011). She has not won a Grand Slam Singles tournament since the 2017 Australian Open and hasn’t won a doubles tournament since 2016 Wimbledon. She trails only her sister for the most singles titles (49 WTA wins) and the most overall titles (73). Venus Williams has won seven of those singles titles in Grand Slam Tournaments.
Venus Williams at least seems to be taking her withdrawal with humor. In the video she said she’d use her newfound free time on her social life, adding she has since changed her mind since she was “undateable at Wimbledon.”
“I’m accepting applications from all bachelors above 5 foot tall. Smart, but not smarter than me. Has a job and doesn’t talk too much. My coach Eric Hechtman is taking all applications because you’ve got to contribute to the championships,” she said.
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