Serena Williams’ coach said that the tennis star had no choice but to pull out of the U.S. Open due to a hamstring injury.
“Since she had to pull out from Wimbledon, she’s been fully committed to her recovery and we’ve done everything we could so that she could compete at the US Open,” Patrick Mouratoglou wrote in an Instagram caption over a photo of Williams. “I’m sorry for all the Serena fans right now, as well as those who hoped to watch Serena play for the first time, in front of the crowd at the US Open.
“It is heartbreaking, but this is the only possible decision.”
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, announced on social media Wednesday morning she would be pulling out of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament because of a torn hamstring. Williams injured her right leg in the first set of her first-round match at Wimbledon. She hasn’t competed since.
“After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring,” said Williams, who will turn 40 next month.
“New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favorite places to play — I’ll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone on from afar. Thank you for your continued support and love. I’ll see you soon.”
Williams is the latest the big-name player to withdraw from the U.S. Open, where play begins next Monday, joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in sitting out. The draw for the tournament is Thursday.
It will be the first major tournament since 1997 without either of the Williams sisters, Federer or Nadal in the singles brackets. Williams has won six singles championships at the U.S. Open, most recently in 2014.