Cincinnati (USA) (AFP)
Serena Williams dropped out Tuesday for the Cincinnati WTA Masters ahead of her first match due to a back injury, another blow for the American before the US Open.
The star, winner of 23 Grand Slam tournaments, trained Tuesday morning in Cincinnati and warned the judges that she could not play, just before her match of the first round scheduled against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, coming out of qualifying.
"I went to Mason (Ohio) on Sunday and did everything to be ready to play this (Tuesday) evening, and I was still hopeful after my workout this morning, but unfortunately, my back still does not go well. Williams explained in a statement issued by the tournament organization.
The 37-year-old American had already dropped out of the Toronto final because of spasms on the back after four games played.
Williams had previously been handicapped by knee problems.
His decision to withdraw from Cincinnati casts a shadow over his preparations for the US Open, which begins Aug. 26.
"Serena", defeated in the Wimbledon final by Simona Halep of Romania in July and turned 38 at the end of September, is only one unit of the women's Grand Slam record held by Australia's Margaret Court (24).
© 2019 AFP