Serena Williams withdraws from Italian Open

The Defending champion Serena Williams has decided to pulled out of the Italian Open citing an elbow injury.

The 33-year-old had been due to take on fellow American Christina McHale in the third round after cruised past the 39th-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Tuesday.

However, the world number one doesn’t think the injury will be an issue at the French Open, which starts on Sunday, 24 May.

“I think if I continue to play it could get worse, and I would have a situation on my hands, so this is the mature decision,” Williams told a news conference. “As soon as I’ve done a medical check I’ll let everyone know.”

Williams was the second big name to withdrew from the Italian Open tournament before the quarter-final stages.

Earlier Britain’s world number three, Andy Murray, has withdrawn from the men’s event in Rome citing fatigue.

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