Serena Williams pulls out of Italian Open

American great Serena Williams has withdrawn from this month’s Italian Open, five days after opting out of the Mutua Madrid Open.

Williams, 35, is a four-time winner of the Rome event, which takes place from 14-20 May.

This raises concerns over her participation at the second grand slam of the year, the French Open, which begins on 27 May.

The recently married mother of one withdrew from the Madrid Open on Thursday, saying she needs more time to prepare for her first clay season since giving birth in September.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, has not played a match on clay since reaching the final at Roland Garros in 2016.

She returned to the WTA Tour in March and reached the third round at Indian Wells, where she was beaten by sister Venus, before falling in the first round of the Miami Open to Japan’s Naomi Osaka.


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