Female world number one, Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Madrid open after been struck with flu.
The 34-year-old world number one has only played four tournaments since August, failing to win any of them.She lost in the US Open semi-finals in September, before defeats this year in the Australian Open and Indian Wells finals and a round-four loss in Miami.The world No 1 said in a statement on the tournament’s website: “Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from Madrid because I’ve been battling the flu and I’m not at 100 per cent. I look forward to returning soon.”
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Serena Williams has played only three tournaments this season and is yet to win a title, losing in the final of the Australian Open and at Indian Wells before a fourth-round exit in Miami a month ago.Should the 34-year-old American also miss the tournament in Rome in a fortnight, she would go into the French Open without having played on clay since last summer.After coming so close to winning the calendar Grand Slam last season, Williams’ dominance appears to be on the wane, although she still has a healthy lead in the rankings.
Agnieszka Radwanska will take over as top seed in Madrid ahead of Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber.The news comes the day after Roger Federer confirmed he would play in the Spanish capital having previously kept his options open.Play begins at the Caja Magica on Saturday, with Andy Murray and Petra Kvitova defending their titles.