Saturday, May 14, 2011
Serena, Venus and Dinara withdraw from French Open, Kim still doubtful.
Former world number one Serena Williams on Thursday was forced to pull out of the French Open, the tournament she won in 2002, after failing to recover from a long-term foot injury while former World No. 1 Dinara Safina announced that she was taking an indefinite break.
Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion, has not played a top-level match since winning last year’s Wimbledon title after cutting her right foot on broken glass last July, an injury that required two operations.
“While I am making good progress, unfortunately I won’t be able to compete in Roland Garros as I am continuing to rehab my foot and recover from the pulmonary embolism,” 29-year-old Williams said in a statement issued through her agent.
“I am grateful for every moment I have and the fact that I have returned to the court. I am hopeful that I will be back competing this summer. Thank you all for your continued prayers.”
As well as her foot injury, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism in February that led to an emergency operation to remove a blood clot from her lung, a health concern she called the scariest moment of her life.
Safina, the three times a losing grand slam finalist, suffered another setback on her return from a serious back injury when she abandoned her quarter-final against Victoria Azarenka at the Andalucia Tennis Championships last month.
“I don’t know how long my time out (from the game) is going to last because I don’t want to torture myself and my body anymore,” Safina was quoted as saying by Russian media.
“I’m just tired of hearing constant questions from my coach during training ‘How is your back? Can you do this exercise?’ I’m just tired of fighting with myself,” said the younger sister of former men’s world number one Marat Safin.
“At the moment I can’t do anything tennis-wise. When I can do certain moves without feeling lots of pain, then I would consider resuming my training,” she added.
She has been criticised for reaching the top without winning a grand slam title, losing all three of her major finals (French Open in 2008 and 2009 and 2009 Australian Open).
After missing much of last year, she made a comeback at the Australian Open in January but suffered an embarrassing 6-0 6-0 defeat by Kim Clijsters in the opening round and soon after contemplated quitting.
“Right now I don’t care when I might return – this summer during the American hardcourt series, towards the end of the season or next year,” Safina said.
“I’ll take as much time as I need.”
Veus williams has also withdrawn from the Clay Grand Slam failing to recover from a hip injury sustained in Janurary in the Australian Open, and Kim Clijsters still is in doubt after injuring her ankle at a wedding and is now in a serious fitness race against the clock.