Serena pulls out of Indian Wells, Miami with knee injury

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar. 8 : World No. 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn her name from the upcoming WTA tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami because of a knee injury.

"Sadly, I have to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open," Serena, who won an Open era record 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open earlier this year, was quoted as saying in a statement issued by BNP Paribas Open organisers in California.

"I have not been able to train due to my knees and am disappointed I cannot be there. I will keep moving forward and continue to be positive. I look forward to being back as soon as I can." Serena's withdrawal means Angelique Kerber will take over the numero one ranking at the conclusion of the BNP Paribas Open, which ends on March 19, reports Sport24.

Serena last year finished runner-up in the Indian Wells final, a tournament she only started playing again in 2015 after a 13-year boycott.

The 35-year-old in January registered a record-setting 23rd Grand Slam women's singles title in the Open era, defeating her sister Venus Williams in straight sets in Australian Open's finals.

Serena defeated Venus 6-4, 6-4 victory in what could rather be said as a one-sided contest at Rod Laver Arena.

She also became the first player to win the Australian Open without dropping a set since Maria Sharapova in 2008.

With the win, Serena surpassed Steffi Graf's tally of 22, thus becoming the most successful women's player in the Open era; only Margaret Court, with 24 titles across the amateur and Open eras, has more.

Source: ANI