Both of the Williams sisters have withdrawn from next month’s US Open in New York, organisers announced on Wednesday.
Serena Williams’s father, Richard, who was present at a press conference, said: “She will not play in the U.S. Open and that’s the truth.” He said Serena had also pulled out of the doubles event.
“She cannot continue with her babies,” he said, confirming a statement released by Serena on Tuesday evening.
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“I am working closely with the tournament director, and my doctors have given me the okay to skip this tournament,” she added. “The US Open is the last Grand Slam of the year, so I really wanted to play there. But I can’t.”
Naomi Osaka, the 18-year-old who beat Serena Williams in the US Open final, has been named as the player to replace her in the singles draw.
Richard Williams added: “It’s a day of sad news. It’s a very difficult day for the family. We had planned on going to the president [Donald Trump], and we’ll talk about this another time.”
Serena Williams’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, tweeted: “Serena Williams withdrew from the Open with the advice of her doctors. We thank her fans for their support.”
Serena Williams’s publicist, Mary Ritti, told reporters Serena had been attending an event in Paris to promote her collection for the US sports company Nike. She said she had just returned from a meeting and was resting.
“I’m sorry that’s all I can say at this time,” Ritti added. “We have to respect Serena’s privacy at this time.”