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Sport

Serena out of Italian Open with Achilles problem

FILE PHOTO: Sep 10, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Serena Williams of the United States gets treatment for her left ankle during the match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women's singles semifinals match on day eleven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - Serena Williams has pulled out of the Italian Open starting on Monday due to an Achilles injury, the former world number one confirmed on Saturday.

Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title ended with a defeat to Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open on Thursday, a match in which she took a medical timeout to have her left ankle re-taped due to the Achilles problem.

"I regretfully must withdraw from The Internazionali BNL d'Italia due to an Achilles strain," Williams, a four-times winner in Rome, said in a statement here.

“I’m so humbled by the continuous support from my fans in Rome and I look forward to making my return soon.”

Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu and top-ranked Ash Barty have also pulled out of the tournament.

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, who will contest the U.S. Open men's final on Sunday, have withdrawn from the event, the organisers said in a statement here.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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