For the first time ever, the U.S. Open will be without the top female player in the world this year.
No. 1-ranked Serena Williams, 28, announced her withdrawal from the tournament, explaining that she’s still recovering from surgery to repair cuts on her right foot.
“It is with much frustration and deep sadness that I am having to pull out of the U.S. Open,” the tournament s three-time champion said in a statement released Friday by her publicist.
Williams was reportedly hurt by a broken glass at a restaurant while she was in Munich – shortly after winning her fourth Wimbledon singles title – last month and had surgery on July 15.
The tennis superstar s withdrawal also means she won’t team with older sister Venus to defend the doubles title they won in at the U.S. Open last year. Venus, who hasn’t competed on tour since Wimbledon because of a bothersome left knee, is expected to play singles at the tournament, which kicks off Aug. 30 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Williams – whose 13 major singles titles are the most among active women – said doctors advised her not to play so her foot can heal. Missing the tournament, she said, is “one of the most devastating moments of my career.”