'Surprise twist' to Venus' US Open withdrawal

1 month ago 16
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Serena and Venus Williams added themselves to the list of big-name withdrawals from the US Open on Wednesday, making this the first time since 2003 neither of the sisters will appear in the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

Serena, who turns 40 next month, cited a torn right hamstring that has kept her out of competition since she was injured in the first set of her first-round match at Wimbledon in late June.

Venus, who is 41, said she has a leg injury. They announced their decisions via social media posts about 10 hours apart.

"Not the best news from Serena and I today. I, too, am unable to play the US Open. It's super super super disappointing," Venus said. "Having some issues with my leg all this summer and just couldn't work through it."

Venus Williams (Getty)

However, now that Venus has more time on her hands, she urged the world's "bachelors" to come forward.

"I know I said this year I was undateable at Wimbledon, but I have changed my mind now," Venus added.

"Now that I have free time, I'm accepting applications from all bachelors above five feet tall, smart but not smarter than me, has a job and doesn't talk too much.

"My coach Eric Hechtman is taking on applications."

The Americans join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in sitting out the competition in Flushing Meadows, where play begins next Monday, raising questions about what the future of tennis might look like without them. The draw for the tournament is released later this week.

This will be the first major tournament since the 1997 Australian Open without any of the four in the singles brackets. Venus made her Grand Slam debut at the 1997 French Open; Serena arrived the next year; Federer showed up in 1999; Nadal in 2003.

Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, a record in the professional era. Only one player in tennis history owns more, Margaret Court with 24. Venus has won seven, including at the US Open in 2000 and 2001.

Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic share the men's record of 20.

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