Serena says withdraws from China Open and WTA Finals


World number one Serena Williams announced Thursday her withdrawal from next week’s China Open in Beijing and the WTA Finals in Singapore, ending her season.

“I am taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal,” the 21-time Grand Slam winner said in a statement.

The China Open first tweeted the announcement, but the Women’s Tennis Association has not confirmed Williams’ withdrawal from Singapore’s year finale.

Williams, 34, has not played since she lost in the semi finals of the US Open to Italy’s Roberta Vinci, one of the most shocking upsets in tennis history.

“It’s no secret I’ve played injured most of the year — whether it was my elbow, my knee, or, in the finals moments after a certain match in Flushing, my heart,” Williams said.

William’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou told ESPN earlier this week that she was intensely disappointed after missing out on a fifth consecutive Grand Slam crown and hinted that she may withdraw from the remaining tournaments of the season.

Even missing out of the two final tournaments of the year, Williams will still end the year as world number one.

“I’m really sorry for Serena. But Serena is Serena. (She is) still a great player also if she doesn’t play,” Vinci said in response to Williams’ withdrawal.

Vinci, 32, started the year ranked 44 and has risen to 18 since making her first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

The Italian secured her place in the semi finals of the Wuhan Open Thursday where she could face Williams’ older sister Venus.