Serena Williams has withdrawn from both the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open due to a knee injury. Due to her withdrawals, Angelique Kerber will take over the world number one since Serena will be dropping 650 points after making the finals in Indian Wells, losing to Victoria Azarenka. She’ll also be dropping fourth round points after losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova. After reclaiming the world number one rank after winning the Australian Open, Serena did not play a match.
Serena spoke to the tournament and released a statement in regards to her injury. She said, “I have not been able to train due to my knees and am disappointed I cannot be there. I will keep moving forward and continue to be positive. I look forward to being back as soon as I can."
Serena’s Recent Knee Injuries
During last year’s US Open, where she lost to Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals, the soon to be world number two mentioned that her knee was acting up throughout the event.
2017 would have marked the third straight year Serena would have played Indian Wells after boycotting it from 2002 to 2014. The boycott was over Serena’s father, Richard Williams, accusing the crowds of racism. During the final which Serena played in 2001, Richard Williams said that racial slurs were said to him and Venus while in the stands but no official complaints were filed.
Serena returned in 2015, in a very emotional return where she was in tears as she walked out to a standing ovation in her opening match vs Monica Niculescu. She ended up making the semifinals before withdrawing to Simona Halep, who was the eventual champion after defeating Jelena Jankovic in a three-set thriller. Last year, she made the final and lost to Azarenka in straight sets.