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Serena WilliamsŠ—È hopes of returning to the top of the world rankings will have to wait after the 22-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of Wuhan and Beijing with a shoulder injury

Serena out of Wuhan, Beijing

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Originally published on 23/09/16 00:00

The world No.2 has announced that she will skip the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open and the China Open to recover from an ongoing shoulder injury.

“I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open or the China Open due to continuing issues with my right shoulder,” Williams said in a statement. “I have been practising and playing but my shoulder is still not fit for tournament play.

“I am focused on getting ready to compete at the WTA Finals in Singapore.”

Williams has played just eight tournaments this season, winning two titles in Rome and at Wimbledon and finishing runner-up at the Australian Open (l. to Angelique Kerber), at Indian Wells (l. to Victoria Azarenka) and Roland Garros (l. to Garbine Muguruza).

Williams, whose three-year reign at the top of the rankings came to an end after her defeat to Karolina Pliskova in the US Open semi-finals, had no ranking points to defend for the rest of 2016.

However, she remains hopeful that she will be fit for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore on October 23. The five-time champion missed the event in 2015 after cutting her season short to heal – physically and mentally – after missing out on a calendar-year Grand Slam at last year's US Open.

New world No.1 Kerber is the top seed at next week's Wuhan Open, while Muguruza is the defending champion in Beijing.

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Serena WilliamsŠ—È hopes of returning to the top of the world rankings will have to wait after the 22-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of Wuhan and Beijing with a shoulder injury
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