US Open 2021: Venus Williams follows sister Serena, Federer and Nadal; becomes latest to opt out of Grand Slam – The US Open will mark the first time since 2003 that neither of the Williams sisters are competing at a major Grand Slam as both Venus Williams and Serena Williams have opted out citing injuries. The duo are the latest amongst high profile athletes to withdraw from the competition, after men’s trio Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and defending champion Dominic Thiem also pulled out of the Grand Slam. This will be the first major tournament since the 1997 Australian Open without either of the Williams sisters, Federer or Nadal competing.
Venus Williams took to social media to confirm her withdrawal from the upcoming US Open 2021, citing a leg injury. She said, “I’m gonna miss the Open — it’s my favourite Slam. I’ve had so many amazing memories there and can’t wait to get back out on the court whenever that is — I’ll work with my team and make it as soon as I can. No date at this time.”
Not the best news everyone. I am joining @serenawilliams @RafaelNadal and @rogerfederer on the injured list. It’s still going to be a great US Open & many thanks to the @usta for the wild card. I was so looking forward to it, but it was not meant to be this year. I will be back! pic.twitter.com/s0PRgdSSx2
— Venus Williams (@Venuseswilliams) August 25, 2021
She added, “I tried my best here in Chicago [at the WTA 250 Chicago Women’s Open], but I just was unable to figure out the equation. And there’s been so many times where I’ve been able to figure it out, even not in the best of my health, but this time, I just couldn’t make any miracles work.”
A seven-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams was among the eight wild card entries announced by the USTA last week. The 41-year-old was initially awarded a wildcard into the US Open main draw but snuck in as a direct entry earlier in the week after the withdrawal of Kirsten Flipkens. The WTA legend added, “In all seriousness, I am really disappointed. It’s a tough time right now, but like all tough times, they don’t last forever. Regardless, I’m wishing all players the best of luck this year. Be well — don’t get hurt like I did. Stay safe, and everybody enjoy the US Open, I know I’ll be watching from home.”
Venus Williams’ announcement came hours after younger sister Serena pulled out of the US Open. Former World No.1 Williams sustained a hamstring injury at Wimbledon this year, where she was forced to retire midway through the first set in her opener against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. She has not competed since. Serena announced, “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.”
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Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, a record in the professional era. Only one player in tennis history owns more, Margaret Court with 24. Venus has won seven, including at the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001.