Serena withdraws from Dubai
Originally published on: 20/02/13 00:00
Williams, who replaced Victoria Azarenka at the top of the world rankings on Monday despite finishing runner-up to the Australian Open champion at last week’s Qatar Total Open, confirmed she was struggling with a lower back problem.
The American will now turn her attentions to next month’s Sony Open in Miami, although she admits she has one eye on the French Open.
"OK, I have done it,” Williams said on becoming the oldest No. 1 in WTA history. "Let's focus on my next goals which are the Grand Slams. I really want to continue doing really well in those."
The news will come as a blow to organisers after top seed Azarenka pulled out with a bruised heel on Tuesday.
“We were looking forward to seeing Serena play, and are disappointed that this injury has ruled her out,” tournament director Salah Tahlak said. “We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to hopefully seeing her back in Dubai next year.”
Williams’ withdrawal sees Marion Bartoli meet Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals.