(updates with quotes)
By Mark Elkington
MADRID Nov 7 Serena Williams is hoping to play
on at the WTA Championships despite having to retire through
injury after the first set against Russian Anna Chakvetadze on
The 26-year-old American called for the doctor to attend a
problem with her left knee when the score was 5-4.
After having some strapping, she lost the set 6-4 but
Williams looked short on mobility and was unable to continue her
opening match as the second set got underway.
"Before the match I had taping for prevention since I was
feeling a little tight in both knees. I thought I was tighter in
the right knee but then, once I had to increase my range of
movement, the left knee got worse," Williams said in a
"I've had issues with my knees before especially the left
knee since that's the one I had surgery on in 2003. It's
unfortunate it's happened now and I can't stress how
disappointed I am.
"Right now it's swollen and I'm going off to have an MRI at
the hospital to see exactly what the problem is. It is my
intention to play on in this event."
Williams's withdrawal from the match means world number one
Justine Henin, who has won her first two outings in the yellow
group, has automatically qualified for the semi-finals.
If the 2001 winner is unable to continue, Marion Bartoli of
France is on standby to step in.
(Editing by Ken Ferris)