Serena out of Indian Wells
Williams, who won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, will also miss the Miami Open later this month.
“Sadly, I have to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open,” Williams said in a statement. “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.”
A finalist in Indian Wells last year, Williams will be replaced at the top of the rankings by Angelique Kerber at the conclusion of the tournament in California. Williams, who returned to Indian Wells in 2015 for the first time in 14 years, was bidding to win a third title at Palm Springs, having won the title in 1999 and 2001.
It means both of last year’s finalists will be absent from the WTA Premier Mandatory tournament with 2016 champion Victoria Azarenka absent after giving birth to a baby boy in December.
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