Williams withdraws from Italian Open

Former world number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from the upcoming Italian Open, just days after pulling out off the Madrid Open.

The organisers of the Rome event revealed the news on twitter without citing a reason. Just a week ago, Williams, who gave birth to her first child last September pulled out of the ongoing Madrid Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion has featured in just four matches in 2018, with the latest being a first round loss to Naomi Osaka in Miami in March. While she currently enjoys a protected number one ranking in order to allow her to enter events, it is uncertain how long that will remain in place.

As such, there is much doubt over Williams’ entry to the French Open, which begins on 27 May in Paris.