Serena Williams withdraws from WTA events in China due to shoulder injury
By Press Association
Last Updated: 23/09/16 11:50am
Serena Williams has withdrawn from upcoming WTA Tour events in Wuhan and Beijing due to continued shoulder problems.
Williams has been struggling with inflammation in her right shoulder since she won Wimbledon in July.
The 22-times Grand Slam singles winner pulled out of tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati in July and August.
She was then clearly distraught as the defence of her Olympic singles title ended in a third-round loss to Elina Svitolina in Rio.
The 34-year-old was beaten in the semi-finals of the US Open by Karolina Pliskova and consequently lost her world number one ranking to Angelique Kerber, who won the competition.
Williams told wtatennis.com: "I am disappointed 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.
"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."
Even if Williams does play there, it is unlikely she will reclaim first place in the rankings from Kerber before the end of the year.
The American has been plagued by a series of injuries and illnesses this year and has only played in eight tournaments so far, her fewest since 2011.
The WTA Finals takes place from October 23-30, giving Williams a month to regain fitness in time to play in the event.