Serena Williams Withdraws From US Open
The tennis champion has not competed since she sustained an injury during her first-round match at Wimbledon.
August 25, 2021 at 4:03 pm
“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,” Williams said in a statement on Instagram.
“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,” she continued.
The 39-year-old has experienced a handful of setbacks this season after she lost to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open and ended her first-round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Wimbledon when she slipped and fell on the grass, hurting her leg.
“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg,” the 23-time Grand Slam winner wrote in a statement on Instagram following her loss in Wimbledon. “My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful. Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on—and off—the court meant the world to me.”
Other tennis stars like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer also pulled out of the U.S. Open this year, citing a chronic foot injury and a scheduled knee surgery, respectively.
Williams’ decision to back out of the U.S. Open also comes as the United States Tennis Association (USTA) has offered to provide extensive healthcare services through the tournament’s flagship social responsibility initiative, Be Open, to “ensure that a comprehensive and holistic approach will be taken with all aspects of player health, including mental health.”
“Our goal is to make mental health services as readily available to athletes as services for a sprained ankle—and with no stigma attached,” Dr. Brian Hainline, USTA’s first vice president, said, NBC Sports reported. “We will provide an environment that fosters wellness while providing the necessary resources to readily allow mental health care seeking.”
The U.S. Open will offer licensed mental health providers so players have access throughout the tournament and will have quiet rooms set up, as well as other services.
"We look forward to seeing how the initiatives implemented at this year’s tournament, and in the coming months, make an impact on player wellbeing, and will continue to look for ways to improve and adapt as we move forward," USTA chief executive and US Open director, Stacey Allaster, said in a release.
The U.S. Open is set to begin on Monday and will run through Sept. 12 in Queens, New York.