MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) – Venus Williams has pulled out of the Australian Open this week with an undisclosed injury sustained while playing in a tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, received a wild-card invitation last month to attend the Australian Open and compete at Melbourne Park in what would have been her 22nd Grand Slam.
But the Australian Open said on Saturday that the 42-year-old Williams had withdrawn from the tournament from January 16. He did not give details about the injury.
It was part of a string of bad luck for Williams, who last played at Melbourne Park in 2021.
During her second round match against two-time Australian Open finalist Sara Errani, Williams injured her ankle and knee after tripping awkwardly at the net.
She gave her best effort at Melbourne Park when her sister Serena Williams beat her in the 2003 and 2017 finals.
Now ranked 1,003rd, Williams said she was excited to return to Melbourne when she received a wild-card invite in December.
“I’ve been running in the country for over 20 years and the Australian community has always supported me wholeheartedly,” he said.
The five-time Wimbledon singles champion has struggled with injuries over the past two years, having played just four tournaments in the United States through August. She did not advance past the first round in those events, and ended her season when she lost to Alison van Utvank at the US Open.
However, she started 2023 on a positive note by defeating fellow American Katie Volnetts in Auckland. After that, in the second round, she was defeated by Zhu Lin of China in three sets.