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Serena Williams decided to withdraw from next week’s Pan Pacific Open in Japan as she needs to take a break from tennis following a hectic year.
The 31-year-old American has enjoyed a successful campaign having won the French Open and, earlier this month, she defeated Victoria Azarenka in three sets to secure her fifth US Open crown at Flushing Meadows, taking her singles career Grand Slam tally to 17.
However, Williams feels she needs to take time out of the game to rest and recuperate so will not travel to Tokyo for the Pan Pacific Open, which starts next week.
She said: “I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the Pan Pacific Open, which I was very much looking forward to playing this year.
“Unfortunately with the number of matches I have played throughout the summer I need more time to properly recover.”
Williams could return to action in time for the China Open in Beijing, beginning on September 28.
The news of her withdrawal is another blow for the Pan Pacific Open organisers after Maria Sharapova also confirmed she would not be taking part because of a shoulder injury.