Tennis star Serena Williams has announced her withdrawal from the U.S. Open.
“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,” Williams wrote via Instagram.
“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.”
Williams made the semifinals in the 2021 Australian Open before losing to Naomi Osaka.
Osaka has always credited Williams as one of her top inspirations.
“My young aspirations owe so much to Serena and Venus,” Osaka wrote in a column for The Telegraph in January. “Without those trailblazers, there would be no Naomi, no Coco [Gauff], no Sloane [Stephens], no Madison [Keys]. Everything we did was inspired by them, and my sister and I would dream about one day playing them in a Grand Slam final.”
Speaking to ESPN the following month, she said: “Of course, Serena and Venus have been my role models since I was young,” she said. “My goal is to have the chance to inspire the younger generations the way Serena and Venus were able to inspire my generation and so many other generations.”
Williams’ injury appears to have plagued her for some months. Williams is ranked 22nd on the WTA Tour. Sadly, she was forced to pull out of Wimbledon with an injury and lost in the French Open in the fourth round.
But, as with several high-profile Black women athletes, after putting in much work over the course of her illustrious career, Williams deserves a break and all the time she needs to heal.