Serena Williams pulls out of Miami Open with knee injury
Also out it world No 1 Naomi Osaka while teenage star Bianca Andreescu continues stellar 2019 with repeat victory over Angelique Kerber
By Press Association
Last Updated: 25/03/19 3:03pm
Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open because of a left knee injury.
It is the second consecutive WTA event in which the American eight-time champion has been unable to continue, after her retirement from last week's tournament in Indian Wells with a viral illness.
"I am disappointed to withdraw from the Miami Open due to a left knee injury," the former World No 1 said in a statement.
"I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here in Miami."
The 23-time Grand Slam winner was set to face Wang Qiang in the last 32 but the Chinese player will progress with a bye, having beaten British No 1 Johanna Konta in the second round.
Williams has been impressive at the Grand Slams since her return following the birth of her daughter but she has struggled to match an impact on the WTA Tour, winning just five matches in six tournaments.
In her place Japan's Osaka has become the sport's unstoppable force, winning the last two Grand Slams but she crashed to a three-set defeat to Su-Wei Hsieh
The world No 1 came close to losing to the unconventional Hsieh at the Australian Open but this time she could not finish off the job despite leading by a set and 5-3.
Having failed to serve out the match, Osaka, who trailed 4-1 in the opening set, lost the second on a tie-break and then saw an early break in the third slip away as Hsieh prevailed 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-3.
It was the first time in 64 matches that Osaka had lost a match having won the first set and her record as world number one is now a less than stellar three wins and three defeats.
Osaka could lose top spot in the rankings after this tournament and Petra Kvitova, one of the players in contention to overtake her, battled into the fourth round with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory over Donna Vekic.
Indian Wells champion Andreescu seems to be the new unstoppable force and she notched up her 10th win in a row, toppling eighth seed and world number four Angelique Kerber for a second week in successions
The 18-year-old Canadian, who became one of the most unexpected champions of recent years when she won the title and beat Kerber in the final in the Californian desert prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-1 to maintain her winning record against top 10 players this year.
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