Venus Williams exits U.S. Open following sister Serena’s withdrawal

This year will be the first time since 2003 that neither Williams sister will be a participant in the U.S. Open.

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Tennis star Venus Williams exited from the U.S. Open just hours after her sister, Serena Williams, announced on social media that she would not be participating in the final Grand Slam of the year. 

The younger Williams sister announced on Wednesday that she is skipping the tournament to allow her body to “heal completely” from a torn hamstring. 

“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 Williams, 39, shared in a statement posted to Instagram

Venus Williams (above) exited from the U.S. Open just hours after her sister, fellow tennis star Serena Williams, announced that she would not be participating in the tournament. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favorite places to play,” she wrote. “I’ll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering on from afar.” 

“Thank you for your continued love and support,” she added. “I’ll see you soon.”

Serena suffered the injury in the first round of Wimbledon in June. 

Just hours after her sister’s announcement, 41-year-old Venus shared that she would not be a participant either.

“Not the best news from Serena and I today. I, too, am unable to play the U.S. Open,” she said in an Instagram video message. “It’s super, super, super disappointing. Having some issues with my leg all this summer and just couldn’t work through it.”

In her clip, Venus joked that she is accepting applications for dates now that she has some free time. 

The Williams sisters are among several high-profile players pulling out of this year’s U.S. Open. Sofia Kenin will not be participating after testing positive for COVID-19. On the men’s side of the tournament, Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will all be missing. 

This will be the first time since 2003 that neither Williams sister will be in the U.S. Open. 

Per Deadline, the U.S. Tennis Association has recently announced it will expand its medical care to provide “best-in-class mental health support to players” at the U.S. Open. The issue of the mental health of athletes has been more significant recently, given the revelation defending U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka shared that she battles crippling anxiety during interactions with the media. Following her admission, she withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon.

Osaka is expected to play in the U.S. Open, which starts Monday, at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York. 

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