Serena Williams Withdraws from Western & Southern Open

Late Monday afternoon it was announced that  Serena Williams had withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open, citing a continued shoulder injury, after an afternoon practice session.

“My shoulder inflammation continues to be a challenge, but I am anxious to return to the court as soon as possible,” said Serena Williams in a release to tournament officials.

After an early exit in both Olympics singles and doubles, Williams accepted a wild card into the Cincinnati tournament where she was looking to defend her titles won in 2014 and 2015.

Williams’ exit opens the door for the world’s second ranked player, Angelique Kerber, to move into the top spot which Williams has held for 183 consecutive weeks.

Kerber, coming off a silver medal performance at the Rio Olympics, would need to win the Western & Southern Open in order to take the top ranking from Williams.

Japan’s Misaki Doi replaces Serena Williams in the main draw and will play the winner of tonight’s match between Christina McHale and Saisai Zheng.

Williams will now turn her focus to New York City and the US Open, where she is looking to win her seventh US Open title and twenty third  Grand Slam title.

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