Friday, September 24, 2010

Serena Williams withdraws from Pan Pacific Open.

Tennis fans in Japan will have to wait at least one more year before they can see Serena Williams in action, after she has not returned to Tokyo after her 2002 title.

Williams has withdrawn from the Toray Pan Pacific Open, set to begin next week at Ariake Tennis Forest Park in Tokyo, due to her ongoing recovery from surgery on her right foot two months ago. It has been eight years since the 28-year-old Williams last played in Japan.

The number-one ranked women’s tennis player cut her right foot on broken glass at a restaurant in Munich on 7 July and has not played since. Immediately after the incident, Williams received stitches on her foot. It was about one week later when Williams underwent surgery on a lacerated tendon on her right foot 15 July in Los Angeles.

The odd injury forced the 13-time major champion to withdraw from every summer event she was scheduled to play in, including tournaments in Istanbul, Cincinnati, and Montreal. She did not participate in this year’s U.S. Open in New York City, where a controversial tirade aimed at a lineswoman during last year’s semi-final ended up costing her a spot in the final.

She said she still plans on playing in the Fed Cup final against Italy in November.

Her 13 major titles, which include five victories at the Australian Open and four at Wimbledon, ranks her sixth in career major victories. She won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, which upped her WTA career win total to 37.

Even though the tournament has lost its top draw, there is no shortage of top-tier players set to take the court. Second-ranked player Caroline Wozniacki, fourth-ranked Vera Zvonareva, and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone will all participate in the event. Maria Sharapova, who won the title last year, will be back to defend her title.

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