Serena Williams withdraws from Miami


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Serena Williams has been forced to withdraw from the Miami Open with a knee injury.

The American former world number one has struggled with injury issues throughout 2019 and her second-round win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson on Friday was just the seventh match of the year she has been able to complete.

Williams was due to face Wang Qiang in the third round but the Chinese 27-year-old now progresses with a walkover.

Williams is an eight-time winner of the Premier Mandatory event in Florida and the 37-year-old intends to return to the Miami Open next year.

“I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here in Miami,” she said.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner will be desperate to get back to full fitness ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon later this year as she attempts to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 major singles titles.

Williams is 8.50 to win the French Open outright, with the tournament in France set to begin at the end of May, and is the 4.50 favourite to claim the Wimbledon title.

World number one Naomi Osaka was dumped out of the Miami Open on Saturday as she went down in three sets to Hsieh Su-wei.

Simona Halep is the 3.40 favourite to win the Miami Open outright, defending champion Sloane Stephens is 13.00 and Hsieh is available at 41.00.

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