Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Mutua Madrid Open with a hamstring injury, continuing her horrific 2016 so far. The world number 14 has struggled throughout 2016, only making it out of her first match in Kaohsiung and Charleston, a disappointing trend of results especially considering the American's incredible finish to last year. With Williams' withdrawal, fellow American Christina McHale has moved into the main draw.
Williams' horiffic first quarter of 2016
After ending 2015 in superb form, Williams has never even gotten off the ground in 2016. The American began her year losing in the first round at both the ASB Classic in Auckland, before a stunning opening loss at the Australian Open. Williams then played at the Taiwan Open in Kaohsiung, where oddly enough she won the inaugural edition of the event to take her first title of 2016. With the former world number one finally looking the Venus Williams of old, the American came crashing back down again with opening match losses in both Indian Wells and Miami. Most recently, the seven-time Grand Slam champion fell in the third round of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston to Yulia Putintseva.
Williams' past results in Madrid
Williams first played in Madrid in 2009, the first year of the tournament, where she lost to Russian Alisa Kleybanova in three sets. In 2010, the American made it all the way to the final, before falling to Frenchwomen Aravane Rezai 6-2, 7-5. On the infamous blue clay courts of 2012, the seven-time major winner fell in the second round to future-Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber. Most recently in 2015, Williams again fell in the opening round, this time to two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
Williams' upcoming tournaments
After now being forced to withdraw from Madrid, Williams will only have two clay court tournament under her belt going into the French Open. The American is next scheduled to play at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia in Rome, after already playing on the green clay of Charleston. It will be crucial for Williams to find some form in Rome, especially with her worst major looming in a few weeks time at Roland Garros.