Serena out of Italian Open with Achilles problem

Tennis: US OPEN
FILE PHOTO: Sep 10 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York,USA; Serena Williams of the United States hits a forehand against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in a women's singles semi-finals match on day ten of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

September 12, 2020

(Reuters) – Serena Williams has pulled out of the Italian Open starting on Monday due to an Achilles injury, the former world number one confirmed on Saturday.

Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title ended with a defeat to Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open on Thursday, a match in which she took a medical timeout to have her left ankle re-taped due to the Achilles problem.

“I regretfully must withdraw from The Internazionali BNL d’Italia due to an Achilles strain,” Williams, a four-times winner in Rome, said in a statement.

“I’m so humbled by the continuous support from my fans in Rome and I look forward to making my return soon.”

Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu and top-ranked Ash Barty have also pulled out of the tournament.

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, who will contest the U.S. Open men’s final on Sunday, have withdrawn from the event, the organisers said in a statement.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)