On Wednesday, August 26, 23-time major singles champion Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from the 2021 U.S. Open on Instagram. As reported by NBC News, the 39-year-old will not be competing in the tournament, which is slated to run between Monday, August 30 through Sept. 12 in Flushing Meadows, Queens, due to a torn hamstring. Williams injured her right leg during the first set of her first-round match at Wimbledon in late June.
“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,” Serena wrote on Instagram, what she referred to as a “note and update from me”. “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.”
Only 10 hours apart from her sister, Venus announced her withdrawal from the U.S. Open as well. This marks the first time that the two will not participate in the last Grand Slam tournament of the year since 2003, as reported by Sports Illustrated.
“Not the best news from Serena and I today. I, too, am unable to play the U.S. Open. It’s super super super disappointing. Having some issues with my leg all this summer and just couldn’t work through it,” Venus, 41, tweeted with an accompanying video.
Defending men’s champions Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal additionally announced they would not be competing in the U.S. Open due to injuries. The tournament will take place on Monday in Queens, New York.