But she couldn’t recover in time to play at the US Open, where she won six singles titles, including her first Grand Slam singles title in 1999 as a teenager. The tournament kicks off August 30 in New York City.
She last missed the US Open in 2017 during her sports break due to the birth of her daughter, Olympia. She returned to the tour in March 2018 and had so far competed in every Grand Slam tournament since her return.
She lost the 2018 US Open final to Naomi Osaka of Japan and the 2019 US Open final to Bianca Andreescu of Canada. Last year, when the tournament went without spectators due to the pandemic, she fell in the semifinals to Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in three sets.
Williams’ announcement leaves the US Open without three of the sport’s biggest stars. Roger Federer, 40, and Rafael Nadal, 35, have stepped down and ended their 2021 seasons due to injuries. This is the first time since 1997 – almost a quarter of a century ago – that the US Open will be played without at least one of the three.
Williams, like Federer and Nadal, is one of the greatest champions in tennis history. She has often dominated the opposition with her intimidating serve and returns. But his chances of winning a record 24th Grand Slam singles title seem increasingly slim. She will be 40 next month and her ranking is out of the top 20.