Six-time champion Serena Williams has been forced to pull out of the upcoming US Open.
The 39-year-old withdrew from her first-round match at Wimbledon in June after she slipped on the grass-court surface and has not recovered in time to take part at Flushing Meadows over the next two weeks.
Williams revealed on Instagram that she has decided to allow her torn hamstring more time to recover fully.
She posted: “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.
“New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favourite players to play – I’ll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone on from afar. Thank you for your continued support and love.”
Williams’ withdrawal prolongs her attempt to equal Margaret Court’s tally of 24 Grand Slams.
Serena Williams will miss the 2021 US Open due to injury.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 25, 2021
The former world number one last claimed major success at the 2017 Australian Open and it was later revealed she had been eight weeks pregnant when she triumphed in Melbourne.
After giving birth in September of that year, Williams remarkably returned to action three months later but has fallen short in four Grand Slam finals since – the US Open and Wimbledon in both 2018 and 2019.
While the 23-time champion reached the last four at the Australian Open in January, she exited Roland Garros in the fourth round and was forced to pull out of Wimbledon midway through her first-round tie due to a hamstring injury.
It means by the time Williams tries to returns to grand slam action at the start of 2022, it would have been five years since her last major and she would also have reached the age of 40 – raising the prospect Court’s tally of Grand Slams could remain unmatched.