By Ros Satar
- Last played in Miami where she lost in the fourth round
- Was defending semi-final points in Madrid
- Defending champion in Paris is yet to win a title this year
MADRID, SPAIN – World No. 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Mutua Madrid Open, hitting her preparation for the defence of her French Open title.
The two time champion in 2012 and 2013 said in a statement that she had a fever, and was not feeling 100%, but hoped to return soon.
As reported in WTATennis.com, she said: “Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from Madrid because I’ve been battling the flu and I’m not at 100%. I look forward to returning soon.”
She lost in the semi-finals in 2015 to the eventual champion Petra Kvitova, before exiting Rome in the third round with a walkover. However she then went on to win the French Open, and her clay comeback will indeed be at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Agnieszka Radwanska will now occupy the top spot, having made a run to the semi-finals of Stuttgart, with its champion Angelique Kerber now as the second seed. Both are pinning their hopes of closing the gap between them and Williams over the forthcoming clay and grass court season.
Madrid defending champion Kvitova also got her clay court season off to a promising start with a run to the semi-final – losing to Kerber, and the swifter conditions in Madrid are likely to suit the Czech’s game as she looks relaxed and ready.
Although making the finals in her first two events of 2016 (the Australian Open and Indian Wells), she is 0/2 this year, and last won a title, beating Simona Halep in Cincinnati.
The main draw for the women’s event starts on Saturday 30 April.
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