Williams announced on Wednesday that she would not be competing in this year’s US Open from next week, due to a lingering leg injury.
“It’s great, great, super disappointing,” Williams said, in a video she posted to her Twitter and Instagram accounts. “I had problems with my leg all summer and I just couldn’t get out of it.
“I did my best here in Chicago [at the WTA 250 Chicago Women’s Open], but I was just unable to figure out the equation. And there have been so many times I’ve been able to figure it out, not even in the best of my health, but this time around I just couldn’t work miracles. “
Williams’ announcement comes on the same day as younger sister Serena’s withdrawal from the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, due to a hamstring injury.
Williams made her Grand Slam breakthrough at the 1997 US Open, where she advanced to the final at age 17. Three years later, she won the 2000 title at Flushing Meadows, then defended her crown the following year for two of her seven Grand Slam singles titles.
“I’m going to miss the Open,” said former world number one Williams. “This is my favorite Slam. I had so many amazing memories there, and I can’t wait to get back on the pitch, anytime. I will work with my team to get there as soon as possible. “
Still, Williams kept his spirits up with humor in his announcement. “I’m not at all used to being able to have free time, and I know I said this year I was ‘non-datable’ at Wimbledon, but I changed my mind,” smiles -she. “Now that I have some free time, I am accepting applications. “
Williams is currently ranked 147th in the WTA singles rankings in the world. She was initially given a wildcard for the US Open main draw, but snuck in as a direct entry earlier in the week after Kirsten Flipkens retired.
Williams lost in the first round of the Chicago Women’s Open to Hsieh Su-wei on Monday, in the fan-favorite’s first meeting.
“Seriously, I’m really disappointed,” continued the 41-year-old WTA legend. “It’s a tough time right now, but like all tough times, they don’t last forever.
“Anyway, I wish all the players good luck this year. Be well, don’t hurt yourself like I did. Stay safe and everyone is enjoying the US Open, I know I’ll be watching from home. “
I plan to spend the next few weeks getting healthy and preparing to play well this fall. Thank you all for supporting me. I wish all the players in New York the best of luck. 2/2
– Sofia Kenin (@Sofia Kenin) August 26, 2021
Kenin also announced her withdrawal on Wednesday evening, as the 22-year-old American tweeted that she would be absent from the US Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
“Fortunately, I got the vaccine so my symptoms were pretty mild,” Kenin tweeted. “However, I continued to test positive so I won’t be able to compete in the US Open next week. “
“I plan to spend the next few weeks getting back in shape and preparing to play well this fall,” continued the world No.5. “Thank you all for supporting me. I wish all the players in New York the best of luck. “
Kenin would have been the top-ranked American on the pitch in her home Grand Slam next week. She reached two Grand Slam finals last year, winning the 2020 Australian Open title for her first major victory, then reaching the Roland Garros final at the end of the season.
Kenin has not played on tour since a second round loss to Madison Brengle at Wimbledon.